Asian markets traded mixed in the morning, as the dollar climbed to fresh peaks and China posted an unexpected trade surplus for the month of February.

The Nikkei average index gained 2.10 percent or 251.03 points to 12219.1. South Korea's KOSPI was down 0.08 percent or 1.60 points to 2002.8. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.25 percent or 13.00 points to 5122.2.

China's Shanghai Composite Index eased 0.06 percent or 1.42 points to 2322.8. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.89 percent or 202.49 points to 22973.9.

Official Chinese data released early in the day showed that the world's second largest economy managed a trade surplus last month, beating forecasts of a deficit due to the seasonal issues of the Chinese New Year holidays.

Shipments climbed 21.8 percent year-on- year during the month while imports fell 15.2 percent. Analysts had predicted a 5 percent increase in exports and a 10 percent drop in imports.

Wall Street had closed higher earlier, after improved jobless claims eased concerns over the US labour market, ahead of the February non-farm payrolls data expected this week. The dollar climbed against the yen, trading at 95.13 yen from the previous high of ¥94.85 touched during North American trading and topping ¥95 for the first time since August 2009.

Japanese traders continued to remain optimistic on further stimulus measures from the pro-stimulus government. Traders are expecting aggressive measures at the next meeting of the Bank of Japan, scheduled for early next month, after the central bank decided to keep the policy on hold this week.

Meanwhile, Japan's fourth-quarter GDP figures released during the day showed that the country has managed to improve in annualised terms. GDP rose at 0.2 percent year -on- year in the fourth-quarter, up from the previous reading of a 0.4 percent contraction.

The European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi attempted to ease concerns after retaining interest rates at low levels when he said that the Italian political issues did not pose much of a threat to other countries in the bloc.

Major Movers

Exporter continued to trade higher in Tokyo on yen's weakness. Automobile major Mazda was up 5.80 percent while tyre-maker Bridgestone added 4.53 percent.

South Korean exporters traded lower. Hyundai fell 0.93 percent while Samsung electronics was down 1.71 percent.

Commodities gained in Hong Kong. China Shenhua Energy Company was up 4.04 percent while China Coal Energy Company gained 3.98 percent. CNOOC was up 3.23 percent.

Sino-sensitive stocks gained in Sydney. Rio Tinto was up 1.95 percent while Newcrest Mining gained 1.07 percent. Fortescue Metals added 1.71 percent.