Asian markets were mostly higher on Wednesday, with Tokyo supported by the weak yen, while Shanghai slipped following a rare trade deficit for China in March.
On Wall Street the Dow index provided support as it climbed to yet another record on hopes for the US economy and optimism about the January-March earnings season that started this week.
Tokyo rose 0.73 percent, or 95.78 points, to 13,288.13, while Seoul gained 0.77 percent, or 14.84 points, to 1,935.58 but Sydney was 0.18 percent lower, giving up 8.8 points to 4,968.0.
Hong Kong rose 0.75 percent, or 164.22 points, to end at 22,034.56, while Shanghai was flat, edging up 0.35 points to 2,226.13.
China's customs agency said Wednesday exports climbed a below forecast 10.0 percent last month, and imports jumped a bigger-than-expected 14.1 percent, while the country saw a trade deficit of US$880 million. Economists had tipped a surplus of US$14.7 billion.
The news comes a day after officials said inflation had come in below estimates, which analysts said indicates ongoing weakness in the world's number two economy, still struggling to recover from slower growth last year.
Dongxing Securities analyst Sun Zheng said the data show "external demand still remains weak, which is widely known to the market".
But he told Dow Jones Newswires that "investors will pay more attention to indicators that reflect companies' business operations, profitability and revenue growth".
In Tokyo the Nikkei continued its upward trend, having piled on around 10 percent since the Bank of Japan's stimulus package last week, which sent the yen tumbling against the dollar to levels not seen since May 2009.
In early European trade the greenback bought 99.40 yen, while the euro was at 130.32 yen, against 99.18 and 129.73 in New York on Tuesday.
National Australia Bank said in a note: "Levels above 100 yen continue to look like only a matter of time away."