Asian shares edged higher on Wednesday led by a spurt in Australian stocks to a three-week high, while the U.S. dollar came off highs as traders digested recent steep gains.
Oil prices ticked higher amid expectations in a Reuters poll that U.S. weekly inventory data will show a draw down in crude stocks of nearly 1 million barrels, but the dollar's rally is keeping a lid on the market's upside potential.
The U.S. dollar hit a two-month high of 91.86 yen in early Asia trade, before edging back. But the currency remains in demand even after jumping more than 8 percent in less than a month against the Japanese currency.
Australian stocks <.AXJO> rose as much as 0.8 percent to a three-week high, helped by miners such as BHP Billiton Ltd
In Australia, Gloucester Coal
Key stock indexes in Hong Kong <.HSI>, Singapore <.FTSTI>, Taiwan <.TWII> and South Korea <.KS11> were all modestly higher on the day. Tokyo's stock market was closed for the Emperor's birthday holiday, dampening activity in the region.
Spot gold was quoted $1,086.65 an ounce at 9:32 p.m. EST, bouncing back after touching a seven-week low of $1,074.10 in New York trade overnight.
(Editing by Neil Fullick)