The Nikkei 225 recovered from its losses in the morning to end higher by 0.39 percent at 24,033.79. The Topix index, on the other hand, rose from its earlier low to close largely flat at 1,821.67.
Down Under, the ASX 200 pared some of its gains but still closed higher by 0.1 percent at 6,192.3, with major miner Rio Tinto advancing by 1.16 percent while BHP Billiton was higher by 1.17 percent.
In Greater China markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index traded higher by 1.24 percent as of 3:15 p.m. HK/SIN. Hotpot chain Haidilao, which went public on Wednesday, traded at 17.88 Hong Kong dollars ($2.28) per share after reaching a high of HK$19.64 earlier. Its issue price was at HK$17.80 per share.
Over on the mainland, the Shanghai composite closed higher by 0.92 percent at around 2,806.82 while the Shenzhen composite advanced by 0.733 percent at about 1,447.85.
South Korean markets were closed for a public holiday.
Washington reiterates stance on trade
On Tuesday, U.S President Donald Trump reiterated his administration's stance on trade, telling the United Nations General Assembly that his country would "no longer tolerate abuse" on that front.
Trump's statement came after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said his country was ready to move ahead on a trade deal with Mexico even if it excluded Canada, as negotiations with Ontario remained at an impasse. "We're not going to say 'no deal because of Canada.' That doesn't make any sense at all," he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Currencies and oil
The Japanese yen saw gains of 0.16 percent at 112.79 against the dollar, while the Australian dollar lost some of its earlier gains but remained 0.17 percent higher at $0.7262, as of 3:28 p.m. HK/SIN.
In oil markets, prices saw a recovery in the afternoon of Asian trade. As of 3:29 p.m. HK/SIN, the global benchmark Brent crude futures contract was 0.27 percent higher at $82.09 per barrel while U.S. crude futures were largely flat at $72.30 per barrel.
On Tuesday, Trump told the U.N. General Assembly that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is "ripping off the rest of the world."
— This article has been updated to reflect that Haidilao's stock is priced in Hong Kong dollars.
Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NKE, IBM, MRK, KBH, SVMK & more
Nike – Nike reported quarterly profit of 67 cents per share, 4 cents a share above estimates. The athletic footwear and apparel maker's revenue was just barely above Street forecasts. Nike benefited from strong consumer spending in the U.S. market, among other factors, but some analysts are concerned about what they consider weaker than expected profit margins.
IBM – The stock was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at UBS, which thinks IBM's services and artificial intelligence businesses will perform well enough to outweigh any issues in the mainframe operations.
Merck – The drugmaker has rescinded its mandatory age 65 retirement rule for its chief executive officer, and said current CEO Kenneth Frazier will remain in the job after he turns 65 in December of 2019.
KB Home – KB Home beat estimates by 10 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of 87 cents per share. The home builder's revenue came in slightly below consensus, however. Home deliveries were up by 8 percent during the quarter compared to a year earlier, and KB Home also reported improved operating margins.
SVMK – SVMK priced its initial public offering at $12 per share, above the expected range of $9 to $11 per share. The parent of SurveyMonkey also increased the size of its offering to 15 million shares from the original 13.5 million, and the IPO's pricing gives the company a market value of $1.46 billion.
Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank has examined the possibility of a merger with UBS, according to German business daily Handelsblatt. The paper said the German bank has also examined the idea of a potential merger with Commerzbank.
Delta Air Lines – Delta briefly halted domestic departures yesterday because of an issue with its computer network. The airline said systems have been restored, and reported no diversions or cancellations as a result of the issue.
CBS – CBS named former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons as interim chairman, following the resignation of former CBS chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves earlier this month.
Comcast – Comcast said it has purchased an additional 135.9 million shares of Britain's Sky in the open market, bringing the NBCUniversal and CNBC parent's stake in Sky to 36.95 percent. Comcast won a bidding contest with 21st Century Fox over the weekend for Sky, although Fox still holds a 39 percent stake and continues to consider its options for that stake.
Cintas – Cintas reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.93 per share, beating forecasts by 12 cents a share. Revenue came in slightly above forecasts. The uniform supplier also raised its earnings and revenue forecast for the full year.
Nielsen Holdings – Nielsen has drawn takeover interest from Blackstone and Carlyle Group, according to a Bloomberg report. The private-equity firms may put in offers for the provider of TV ratings, but talks are said to be at an early stage and other suitors may enter the bidding as well.
GoPro – The stock was upgraded to "outperform" from "perform" at Oppenheimer, based on the high definition camera maker's new product offerings and what the firm calls appropriate pricing.