- Stocks in Japan gained slightly on Thursday as the yen weakened against the dollar in mixed Asian trade after a lackluster session overnight from Wall Street.

The Nikkei index was up 0.2%, while the dollar was last at ¥102.56, compared with ¥102.31 late Wednesday in New York.
Elsewhere in Asia, Australia''s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.1% and South Korea''s Kospi was less than 0.1% lower.

China shares regained early losses by the midday break with property developers higher on prospects for easing curbs on home loans in smaller cities.

China Vanke added 4.7% to CNY7.08 and Gemdale rose 1.3% to CNY6.13. The Shenzhen Composite index however dropepd 0.4% to 1,099.43.

Overnight, U.S. stocks finished lower after disappointing data sent investors jumping to the sidelines, through an expressed commitment from Fed Chair Janet Yellen to support the economy allowed for some gains.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.22%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.01%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.14%.

Earlier Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, which concluded that a string of winter storms was partly responsible for disappointing economic indicators this year.

Elsewhere, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the U.S. central bank will do all it can to ensure U.S. recovery remains on track, as the economy is still not as healthy as it should be.

"I will also continue the work of helping repair the damage done by the financial crisis to the economy. Too many Americans still can''t find a job or are forced to work part-time. The goals set by Congress for the Federal Reserve are clear: maximum employment and stable prices," Yellen said in prepared remarks at a swearing-in ceremony in Washington earlier.

"It is equally clear that the economy continues to operate considerably short of these objectives. I promise to do all that I can, working with my fellow policymakers, to achieve the very important goals Congress has assigned to the Federal Reserve."

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger