Asian stock markets were trading on a mixed note on Thursday as investors began to return from their Lunar New Year break. Hong Kong and Shanghai still closed, while focus turns on the resumption next week of China-US trade talks in Beijing.
Donald Trump said that he plans to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before the end of the month to put the finishing touches to any deal, which would be in both countries' interest as the global economy begins to wobble.
Tokyo index fell 0.7% despite a 17% surge in SoftBank fuelled by news of a $5.5 bn share buyback using cash from last month's listing of its mobile phone unit.
The Australian market is advancing, extending its recent winning streak despite the modest losses overnight on Wall Street, as higher commodity prices boosted resources stocks.
On the currency markets, the New Zealand dollar tanked more than one percent on the back of weak jobs data while the Australian dollar extended Wednesday's sell-off that was fuelled by comments from the country's top central banker hinting interest rates would not rise any time soon.
The pound has weakened more than two percent against the greenback in the past 12 days as investors grow increasingly worried about a so-called hard Brexit.