The Nikkei continued on a positive note today as US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is also scheduled to meet Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko.

Matters concerning economic affairs and trade are likely to dominate the discussions, as US President Donald Trump had shot down the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when he took office earlier this year.

However, it appears that Trump has not put bilateral trades with Japan off the table, as he believes that his administration can secure a better deal under an "America First" platform.

Despite the Nikkei uptick, prominent Asian markets maintained a pessimistic attitude, possibly due to the ongoing geopolitical turmoil in Syria and the Korean peninsula. The Hang Seng and S&P/ASX reported sharp declines of nearly 1%.

The Sensex emerged as the strongest performer with a nearly 1% increase.

The following stock quotes have been logged at 5.48am BST

Japan: Nikkei- Up by 0.25% to 18,400.66

Investors seem to be optimistic about Pence's visit to Japan.

Moody's reported on Tuesday (April 18) that the Japanese economy may be on a gradual path to "reflation". The central bank's commitment to a loose monetary policy and the government's fiscal package released last year has been credited to the progress. Strong external demand has further catalysed the "reflationary" process. The outcome of the aforementioned initiatives may materialise within this year.

Casio Computer Co Ltd (+2.7%) and Mazda (+1.85%) have emerged as some of the index's unconventional strong performers. Furthermore, Fukuoka Financial Group (+2.14%) has recovered from yesterday's downturn.

Maruha Nichiro (-8.78%) and Nippon Suisan Kaisha (-4.1%), which comprise of Japan's biggest fishing and seafood processing companies, have been reported as the index's weakest performers.

Food and beverages seem to be doing particularly badly as Asahi Group Holdings (-1.9%), Kikkoman (1.78%), and Sapporo Holdings (-1.53%) have registered declines as well.

Hong Kong: Hang Seng- Down by 0.92% to 24,039.45

Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (+0.32%), Galaxy Entertainment (+0.23%) have emerged as some of the few strong performers.

Prominent companies with a weak performance include Bank of East Asia (-1.91%), Sands China (-1.88%), Hong Kong China and Gas (-1.77%), and Kunlun Energy (-1.74%)

China: Shanghai Composite- Down by 0.11% to 3,218.522

Australia: S&P/ASX- Down by 0.97% to 5,832.801

The Reserve Bank of Australia is scheduled to release its minutes from the monetary policy meeting held on 4 April, where they decided to keep the benchmark lending rate steady at a historic low of 1.5%.

The issue of the minutes might assuage investors' negative sentiment.

Singapore: Straits Time- Up by 0.23% to 3,145.45

India: Sensex- Up by 0.87% to 29,669.13

While the Indian rupee had climbed to a historic high since 1975 over the first quarter of 2017, Bloomberg has warned of a possible looming seasonality effect owing to the "second quarter curse". Increase in gold demand and the rising price of Brent crude may threaten the rupee's strength. These factors may put pressure on the Indian current account despite strong remittance inflows.