In Sydney, the S & P / ASX200 stock index rose 0.29%. Japanese stocks changed slightly on Wednesday.
Markets are in a holding pattern ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference of central bank officials.
Investors will be looking for any policy hints from Powell ahead of the Fed’s September meeting, at which it is widely expected to cut rates again.
The Nikkei share average ended the day 0.05% higher at 20,628.01 points.
Shiseido was up 5.6%, leading the index on percentage gains. Fellow cosmetics companies Fancl Corp climbed 2.7% and Kose Corp added 1.9%.
Matsumotokiyoshi Holdings Co, which operates a chain of drugstores, rose 1.5% and Pan Pacific International Holdings Corp, the operator of Don Quijote discount stores, added 0.9%.
Technology shares advanced on the back of continuing strength in their U.S. counterparts. Tokyo Electron gained 1%.