Asia markets wavered between positive and negative territory on Wednesday, ending mixed despite advances in oil prices and signs of pick-up in China's services sector.
Australia's ASX 200 was up 21.51 points, or 0.44 percent, at 4,945.90, boosted by a 3.19 percent rise in the energy subindex.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was off 17.46 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,715.36 as the yen retreated from overnight lows to trade near the 110.42 level in the afternoon local time.
The subdued performance followed a global equity sell-off on Tuesday. There was no obvious catalyst for the sell-off, according to a note from Ray Attrill, global co-head of foreign exchange strategy at the National Australia Bank.
"Rather, we'd gauge that stock investors are retreating back into their shells ahead of the U.S. first quarter earnings seasons that kicks off in earnest next Monday," Attrill said.