Asia's markets were mostly higher Tuesday after a gauge of Chinese manufacturing beat expectations to show a pick-up in September, providing some respite for dealers concerned about the economic giant.
The dollar retreated following a recent rally, while on Wall Street the Dow edged down after clocking another record at the end of last week.
Shanghai rose 0.43 percent, Sydney gained 0.26 percent, Hong Kong was 0.10 percent higher and Seoul was 0.32 percent lower.
Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.
HSBC said a preliminary reading for its purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity for this month came in at 50.5, up from 50.2 in August. Anything above 50 is considered growth and anything below indicates contraction.
The figures surprised analysts, who had been bracing for a sub-50 reading following a weak batch of output and trade data recently. Adding to the upbeat news, HSBC also said key subindexes on orders were also strong.
"Economic activity in the manufacturing sector showed signs of stabilisation in September," HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement.
"Overall the data still point to modest expansion. The property downturn remains the biggest downside risk to growth," Qu said.
The report came as a relief to markets, which had traded broadly lower in early trades following losses on Wall Street.
The Dow retreated 0.62 percent from Friday's record high, on profit-taking as data showed an unexpected fall in US existing home sales in August, after four straight months of gains. The news dampened the outlook for a Fed rate hike.
The Standard and Poor 500 fell 0.80 percent and the Nasdaq tumbled 1.14 percent.
In foreign exchange trade the dollar eased to 108.67 yen from 108.94 yen in New York.
The greenback last week hit highs above 109 yen not seen since August 2008 after the Federal Reserve hinted that interest rates could rise further than expected when they are eventually hiked, probably in mid-2015.
However, while the currency is seeing mild selling economists predict it will breach 110 yen soon.
The euro bought $1.2855 and 139.72 yen, against $1.2850 and 139.78 yen.
The single currency is facing pressure after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said it is ready to pump more liquidity into the financial system but needed time to take full effect.
While he noted that the eurozone economy was hobbling, he said the central bank would keep its easy monetary policy in place for some time to come.
On oil markets US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose three cents to $90.90 while Brent crude for November also gained three cents to $97.00.
Gold was at $1,215.83 an ounce, against $1,213.14 an ounce late Monday.