Asian markets were mostly higher on Wednesday, snapping a recent losing streak as the US corporate earnings season got off to a positive start with aluminium giant Alcoa reporting a large jump in profit.
The dollar and euro also picked up against the yen, providing strong support for the Nikkei index as the weakening Japanese currency spurred investors to buy exporter shares.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei index closed up 0.67 percent, or 70.51 points, at 10,578.57, with Toyota ending up 1.59 percent at 4,165 yen and investment bank Nomura jumping 3.52 percent to 500 yen.
"The yen's resurgence was not something unexpected after falling so much over such a protracted period," Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management, told Dow Jones Newswires."The market expects that it will resume its weakening trajectory. At this point, it's more a question of how much further it will fall than how much it will rebound."
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan's biggest military contractor, jumped 4.98 percent to 442 yen with Toshiba rising 2.10 percent to 341 yen.
The bid topped a Sprint Nextel offer for the wireless broadband firm seen as a key part of the Softbank deal.
Japan Airlines slipped 0.39 percent to 3,765 yen after one of the carrier's Boeing 787 Dreamliners was grounded in Boston Tuesday following a fuel spill, one day after another plane of the same type suffered a fire.
Tokyo Electric Power tumbled 2.33 percent to 209 yen and Kansai Electric was down 1.86 percent to 895 yen.
The Sydney index ended 0.38 percent higher, adding 17.9 points to 4,708.1 and Hong Kong ended up 0.46 percent, adding 107.28 points to 23,218.47.
However, Seoul lost 0.31 percent, or 6.13 points, to close at 1,991.81.
And Shanghai ended flat, dipping 0.73 points to 2,275.34 owing to caution ahead of the release of key Chinese economic data later this week.
"There are some concerns that the mediocre performance in the global economy could affect trade and liquidity flows in China," Southwest Securities analyst Zhang Gang told Dow Jones Newswires.
On Thursday and Friday Beijing will release data on key indicators including inflation and trade, with hopes rising that the world's number two economy will show further signs of emerging from its recent slowdown.
Asian markets, which have seen a sell-off in the past few days, bounced following news Tuesday from Alcoa that it saw a profit of $242 million in the three months to December, compared with a year-earlier loss of $191 million.
The company also stayed in the black for the full year, despite aluminium prices falling 12 percent.
"Alcoa's results are generally considered a bellwether for the global economy and the fact that the aluminium giant forecasts higher demand in 2013 appeased investors," noted Stan Shamu, a strategist at IG Market in Melbourne.
On currency markets the yen weakened as importers and retail investors bought the euro and dollar for overseas purchases.
The dollar bought 87.64 yen in Asian trade, from 86.97 yen in New York late Tuesday.
The euro also bought 114.60 yen from 113.75, while sitting at $1.3083 from $1.3079.
Oil prices were lower, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, dropping two cents to $93.13 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for February also lost two cents to $111.92.
Gold was at $1,664.65 at 0830 GMT compared with $1,653.49 late Tuesday.
In other markets:
-- Taipei rose 16.98 points, or 0.22 percent, to 7,738.64.
Hon Hai Precision added 0.92 percent to Tw$87.8 while TSMC was 0.3 percent higher at Tw$100.0.
-- Manila closed 0.70 percent higher, adding 42.28 points to 6,091.18.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust surged 2.22 percent to 105.70 pesos, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone added 0.08 percent to 2,648 pesos.
BDO Unibank gained 0.47 percent to 75.50 pesos.
-- Wellington rose 0.32 percent, or 13.17 points, to 4,103.54.
Contact Energy fell 2.3 percent to NZ$5.17 while Telecom was up 3.1 percent at NZ$2.32 and Fletcher Building ended unchanged at NZ$8.45.