Asian shares were mostly up Wednesday after a strong lead from Wall Street and despite a larger than expected Japanese trade deficit as markets awaited testimony from the US Federal Reserve chief.
The dollar was higher against the yen in Asia as Japan posted its worst April trade deficit, with the red-ink expanding 69.7 percent on year to 879.9 billion yen ($8.6 billion).
The figures did not appear to dampen investor enthusiasm in Japan, with Tokyo stocks up 1.16 percent before the break. Sydney was down 0.31 percent, and Seoul rose 0.53 percent.
In Shanghai shares climbed 0.25 percent, while Hong Kong's trading session was delayed due to a black rainstorm warning advising people against travel and was due to reopen at 1:00 pm (0500 GMT).
Trade data is a closely watched indicator of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's progress in firing up Japan's export-led economy.
His pro-growth, pro-spending policies have weakened the yen more than 20 percent against the dollar over the past six months and boosted share prices, with a lower yen helping exporters but pushing up import bills.
"Exports may recover further but because import costs are rising quite a bit, trade deficits will likely continue," said Junko Nishioka, chief economist at RBS Securities Japan.
Traders were waiting Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to Congress later Wednesday for signs the Fed might be ready to alter its quantitative easing (QE) policy, or project just when and how it might reel in its aggressive bond purchases.
US stocks closed at all time highs Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing up 0.34 percent at 15,387.58 and the broad-based S&P 500 adding 0.17 percent to 1,669.16.
Europe also posted a strong lead, with London recording a new 13-year high of 6,803.87 points amid stimulus policies from top world central banks and a barrage of company results, dealers said.
The dollar was fetching 102.52 yen in Tokyo morning trade, up from 102.47 in New York late Tuesday.
The euro rose to 132.48 yen from 132.26 yen and to $1.2921 from $1.2906.
Oil was down in Asia, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July dropping 42 cents to $95.76 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery shedding 31 cents to $103.60.
Gold was at $1,378.00 at 0330 GMT from $1,387.90 late Tuesday.
-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this article --