Stock markets in Asia were up in the morning trade as the yen resumed its downward spiral on the back of an unexpected contraction in the Japanese economy while the Bank of Japan decided to leave the key rates unchanged.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average extended gains and rose 0.9 percent as the BoJ left the asset purchase and the interest rates unchanged at the end of its two-day meeting.

Hong Kong which reopened after public holidays gained 0.1 percent while Australia's S&P ASX200 index advanced 0.6 percent. South Korea's KOSPI advanced 0.4 percent and Singapore's Strait Times slid 0.2 percent.

Stock markets in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam remain shut for public holidays.

Japan's economy shrank 0.1 percent in the three months to end of December, the third straight contraction which is equivalent to an annualised dip of 0.4 percent of the GDP. This is against the analysts' expectation of a 0.1 percent growth.

Japan's growth has been hurt by subdued domestic consumption and a fall in exports to key markets such as China.

Meanwhile, at the end of the BoJ meeting, the central bank observed that the domestic economy "appears to stop weakening" and left the policy interest rate in the 0 to 0.1percent range.

Major Movers in Asia

Asahi Group Holdings rose 7.1 percent in Japan as the biggest beer maker in the country announced share buyback and forecast 15 percent rise in profit. In Sidney, Alumina Ltd gained 10.2 percent after the China's Citic Resources Holdings purchased a minority stake in the Australian aluminium producer.