Shanghai stock exchange
The Shanghai Composite Index alone faced a steep decline of 0.69%Reuters

Asian stocks were trading higher on early Thursday after initial losses. Steadying commodity prices also prompted investors for bargain hunting. The recent Japan trade data and the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) positive outlook also played their part.

Major Asian indices were on an upward trend after the Japanese Ministry of Finance reported a merchandise trade surplus of ¥614.7bn (£4.4bn) for the year ended March 2017. The figures beat previous estimates by nearly 1.5%.

The annual IMF World Economic Outlook report published on Tuesday (April 18) also noted that the Japanese economy performed admirably during the year. Moreover, the report revised global growth forecasts to 3.5% an increase of 0.1%, with a possibility of beating short run expectations.

The IMF also concluded that global economy and financial markets are stable for now, as per the World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report.

The following index quotes have been logged on 7:26 am BST.

Japan: Nikkei- Down by 0.01% to 18,430.49

Distraught electronics conglomerate Toshiba (+5.32%) emerged as the index's strongest performer. Major multinational corporations reported strong gains overall, including Subaru Corp (+2.32%) and Sony Corp (+1.85%). Financial services firm Fukuoka Financial Group (+1.67%) reported a strong recovery as well.

Food and beverage companies such as Sapporo (-2.37%), Asahi Group Holdings (-2.27%), Ajinomoto Inc (-2.03%), and Kirin Holdings (-1.67%) were the index's weakest performers.

Hong Kong: Hang Seng- Up by 0.26% to 23,886.99

Internet giant Tencent Holdings (+1.82%) was one of the index's strongest performers. Banking and financial services firms, particularly AIA Group (+1.75%), Bank of East Asia (+0.65%), and Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd (0.42%) experienced a good trading day.

Multinational technology firm Lenovo (-0.81%) and Hong Kong's flagship airlines Cathay Pacific Airways (0.74%) were some of the weakest performers.

China: Shanghai Composite- Down by 0.69% to 3,148.721

Australia: S&P/ASX- Up by 0.3% to 5,821.4

Singapore: Straits Time- Up by 0.12% to 3,129.89

India: Sensex- Up by 0.26% to 29,411.97