Oil prices recovered slightly after sinking more than 5 percent overnight due to an increase in U.S. crude inventories. Brent crude was higher by 0.69 percent to trade at $48.39 a barrel while U.S. West Texas International crude gained 0.57 percent to trade at $45.98.
The dollar was dipped slightly against a basket of rival currencies at 96.666 at 2:50 p.m. HK/SIN, compared to levels around 96.730 seen in the previous session. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 109.53, compared to the 109.7 handle seen yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar rose as high as $0.7553 after the beat in China trade data but later fell to levels seen before the release. Aussie/dollar last traded at $0.7549. April trade data in Australia earlier reflected a smaller than expected trade surplus.
The euro held firm to trade at $1.1252 ahead of a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting. The common currency had weakened slightly overnight following a Bloomberg report that suggested the ECB's inflation targets could be lowered.
Pound sterling was steady ahead of the U.K. election, trading near the two-week high of $1.2967 seen overnight. Pound/dollar last traded at $1.2963.
Any preliminary count that suggests May's Conservative Party is expected to expand their majority in parliament will be positive for the British pound for twenty-four hours, said Macquarie analysts Nizam Idris, Gareth Berry and Teresa Lam in a note.
"This may sound counter-intuitive given May has championed the cause of a hard Brexit, but this is how the market has traded (the) British pound headline risk consistently since the snap election was called," the analysts said, adding that the downtrend in the sterling "could resume within days" as Brexit negotiations begin.
Over in Japan, the second estimate of first quarter GDP reflected that the economy grew 0.3 percent compared to the previous quarter, lower than the 0.5 percent expected. First quarter GDP grew 1 percent on year compared to the 2.2 percent forecast.
In the U.S., stocks gained on Wall Street as investors digested Comey's opening remarks ahead of his testimony, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 0.18 percent or 37.46 points to close at 21,173.69.