The Hang Seng index added 0.4% to 26,776.97 after rising more than 1% earlier in the day. Elsewhere, sentiment was tepid. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1% to 22,451.86 while the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.2% to 2,972.42.
Australia's S&P ASX 200 lost 0.8% to 6,684.70 and the Kospi in Seoul gave up 0.4% to 2,074.02. India's Sensex was flat at 38,602.70. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore but inched higher in Jakarta and Bangkok.
Investors are awaiting the release of Chinese data on Friday that will likely show the world's second largest economy slowed further in the July-September quarter given the toll the trade dispute is taking on the export manufacturing sector.
Thursday's lackluster trading tracked similar action on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 index lost 0.2% to 2,989.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.1% to 27,001.98 and the Nasdaq fell 0.3%, to 8,124.18. The Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks eked out a tiny gain, adding 1.76 points, or 0.1%, to 1,525.06.
The benchmark S&P 500 index remains 1.2% below its all-time high set in July. The modest losses came as investors weighed mixed data on the economy and the latest batch of corporate earnings reports. A move on Tuesday by the House of Representatives to show support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong appeared to dim some investor optimism about the prospects for progress in the latest trade talks between the U.S. and China.
On Friday, the U.S. agreed to suspend a planned hike in tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods that had been set to kick in Tuesday. Beijing, meanwhile, agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. farm products.
But in a White House news conference on Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that officials were still ironing out details of their preliminary agreement. President Donald Trump has said he does not expect to sign an agreement until next month, when he is due to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the regional Asian Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum in Chile in November.
In other trading, benchmark crude oil lost 48 cents to $52.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 55 cents to settle at $53.36 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, lost 45 cents to $58.97 a barrel.
The dollar fell to 108.75 Japanese yen from 108.76 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1077 from $1.1073.
AP Business writers Alex Veiga and Damian J. Troise contributed.