Japan Soars, Though Most of Asia Slips

Most major Asian indexes slid on Thursday even though a broad index of equities in the region clung to slight gains. Investors also digested the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates steady.

The Nikkei 225 index added 119.04 points, or 0.5%, to Wednesday’s 400-point leap to finish Thursday at 22,539.12, a fresh 21-year high on strength in automakers and most energy stocks.

The Hang Seng Index came a bit closer to earth, docking 75.42 points, or 0.3%, after Wednesday’s massive gain, to conclude Thursday at 28,518.64.

Honda expects full-year operating profit in the year ending March to come in at 745 billion yen ($6.53 billion U.S.), above its earlier estimate of 725 billion yen. The upward revision was attributed to solid auto sales in China. Honda stock rallied, closing up 5.2% as other Japanese automaker traded mixed.

Meanwhile, Li Ka-shing's CK Asset Holdings announced on Wednesday it was selling a property in the Hong Kong central business district for a record 40.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($5.15 billion U.S). Shares of the company jumped 3.6%

Tesla suppliers in Taiwan closed lower after shares of the automaker slid on Wednesday when it reported a larger-than-expected loss. Auto parts maker Hota Industrial finished down 3.9% and Bizlink, a manufacturer of electric vehicle harnesses, ended down 4.5%

In Hong Kong, energy and tech shares saw strong gains, but Standard Chartered tumbled 5.8% by late in the trading day after earnings reported on Wednesday failed to impress investors.

In Korea, blue-chip tech stocks edged down after closing higher by more than 3% in the Wednesday session: Samsung Electronics closed down 0.3% and SK Hynix lost 2.2%.

Australian indices fell a mite, as gains in mining and energy stocks were offset by losses in financials. Miners climbed after iron prices rose on Wednesday: Rio Tinto rose 3.3% on the day, Fortescue Metals climbed 4.1% and Atlas Iron jumped 12.5% t in the session.

Shares of National Australia Bank fell 2.8% after it reported that full-year profit for the year ending Sept. 30 came in at 6.64 billion ($5.09 billion U.S.). The bank also said expenses were expected to increase between 5% and 8% for the 2018 fiscal year and that a net 4,000 jobs at the company would be "impacted" by automation efforts.

Against the yen, the U.S. dollar pared gains to trade at 113.94, after fetching as high as 114.21 earlier in the session.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 inched up 0.51 points to 3,997.13

In Korea, the Kospi index lost 10.11 points, or 0.4%, to 2,546.36

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index was down 17.85 points, or 0.2%, to 10,788.51

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 11.11 points, or 0.3%, to 3,380.50

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 regained 29.25 points, or 0.4%, to 8,083.06

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched back 6.06 points, or 0.1%, to 5,931.71