By Lisa Twaronite

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Asian markets caught a tailwind on Wednesday after upbeat German economic data powered gains in the U.S. and Europe, while the safe-haven yen skidded as investors' mood turned positive.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.2 percent in early trade, after major Wall Street indexes all logged gains of more than 2 percent.

Japan's Nikkei soared 4.7 percent in morning trade, on track for its biggest one-day rise since October 2014. In the previous session, it lost 2.4 percent and wiped out its year-to-date gain.

European stocks also had a banner day on news Germany's imports and exports hit record highs in value terms in July.

Chinese shares also gained late on Tuesday after digesting a bigger-than-expected drop in imports. The trade data raised fears that China's slowdown could be sharper than many had expected, which in turn raised hopes that Beijing would muster more easing steps to prevent a hard landing.

"It's a good news day," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, said in a note to clients on Wednesday.

"Much relief will be felt from a number of retail investors who have been confused as to the very crux of the sell-off in global equity markets," he said.

The dollar put in a mixed performance, slumping slightly percent against a basket of six rival currencies and edging down about 0.1 percent against the euro to $1.1191.

But the greenback firmed about 0.5 percent against the yen to 120.35 as the improved market mood sapped some of the appeal of the perceived safe-haven Japanese currency.

The euro also gained on the yen, rising 0.3 percent to 134.68.

U.S. crude oil futures remained under pressure after dipping slightly overnight ahead of weekly crude inventories data due from industry group American Petroleum Institute later in the session.

U.S. crude slipped slightly to $45.93 a barrel, while Brent crude also edged down $49.53, after jumping 4 percent in the previous session after the upbeat German economic data.

(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Eric Meijer)