Markets in China and Australia finished at seven-year highs on 27 April, while most other Asian markets traded lower.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.83%, or 49.40 points, higher at 5,982.70.

The Shanghai Composite finished 3.04%, or 133.71 points, higher at 4,527.40.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 0.18%, or 36.72 points, lower at 19,983.32.

South Korea's Kospi finished 0.10%, or 2.26 points, lower at 2,157.54.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 1.33%, or 372.61 points, higher at 28,433.59.

India's S&P BSE Sensex finished 0.95%, or 260.95 points, lower at 27,176.99.

Market movements

In Australia, the resources-heavy ASX was propped up by strong gains in resources stocks following a steep rise in iron ore prices.

Scott Schuberg, CEO of Rivkin Securities, wrote in a note to clients earlier in the day: "...the price of iron ore is bringing relief to investors in concentrated iron ore miners.

Australian resources stocks
Australian resources stocks. Rivkin Securities

"[The chart lists] Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) in black, BC Iron (BCI) in blue and Mount Gibson Iron (MGX) in orange.

"...the benchmark spot iron ore price has lifted to $57.81, up $2.99 from [23 April's] close. Sentiment will be very bullish around these stocks today and this will likely by supportive of the AUDUSD pair, which is trading at a healthy $0.7825."

In China, the Shanghai Composite shot up 3% to a seven-year peak despite dismal data released at the market open. Chinese government data showed that industrial profits for the first-quarter of 2015 dropped 2.7% year-on-year.

Mainland Chinese shares soared on hopes of more monetary stimulus, announcements about state firm mergers and further investment in infrastructure projects. And driving that rally are an increasing number of new retail investors.

Stephen Sheung, Head of Investment Strategy at SHK Private, told CNBC: "What's happening in the China market right now is retail money moving back into stocks after a long 5-6 year bear market. With yields going down from deposits to wealth management products and the property market not jumping back, retail investors have nowhere else to go except stocks."

In Tokyo, the Nikkei settled below 20,000 points as investors awaited quarterly earnings results from industrial robots maker Fanuc and electronics major Canon after the market-close.

In Mumbai, sentiment was pulled down by concerns surrounding retrospective taxation and lower-than-expected January-March earnings so far.

Company stocks

In Sydney, metals and energy stocks gained on the back of upbeat iron ore, gold and oil prices.

BC Iron closed 26.19% higher while Fortescue Metals Group finished 16.29% higher. Rio Tinto finished 3.43% higher.

Telecommunications firm M2 finished 5.38% lower after confirming plans to acquire rival iiNetfor $1.25bn (£824m, €1.15bn).

In Shanghai, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) finished 3.19% higher.

In Tokyo, Oil firm Inpex shed 1.3% on reports that it was in talks to pick a 5% stake in a UAE oil concession for $1.1bn.

In Seoul, index heavyweight Samsung Electronics finished 1.06% lower.

In Hong Kong, HSBC finished 3.59% higher, after jumping 5% in intra-day trade, on news that it was considering moving its headquarters from London to Hong Kong.

In Mumbai, ICICI Bank, the nation's largest private sector lender by assets, finished 1.85% lower after falling over 3% in intra-day trade. Higher bad loans have hit the firm's earnings for the January-March quarter.

But Maruti Suzuki, India's biggest automaker, settled 3.02% higher on news that its profit for the quarter ended 31 March jumped 60% on year.