Asian stocks were mostly higher late Wednesday, reversing from early losses and overlooking news of a widening trade deficit in Japan, as traders awaited the release of the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting minutes later in the day.
Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday as economic reports offered a benign view on inflation and a better-than-anticipated picture of the housing market. The Commerce Department reported that beginning home construction rose 15.7 percent in July on-month, while starts for volatile multi-family homes jumped 33 percent.
Geopolitics were in focus as a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing rockets into Israel, prompting Israeli airstrikes that health officials said killed a woman and a young girl.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko are expected to meet next week, top officials told reporters on Tuesday. This comes as relations between the countries are at rock bottom, with Ukrainian forces continuing to fight pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.