The Nikkei 225 index was down 0.12% or 26.70 points at 22,814.42 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was up 1.14& or 2.48 points at 1,716.35.
Bargain-buyers took advantage of the strong readings from some of the world's top firms to step back into the mix, with a dip in US Treasury yields and Washington's announcement of trade talks with Japan, the EU and Britain helping sentiment.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.29% or 291.88 points to 22,841.12 while the broader Topix index added 1.54% or 25.96 points at 1,713.87.
Investors have now entered a stalemate period to rethink the plethora of looming market uncertainties, ambiguities and flat out worries.
European shares struggled for direction in early exchanges as traders wrestled with a cornucopia of risks, including higher oil from Saudi Arabia tensions and ongoing turmoil surrounding Brexit and Italy's budget.
This week, traders are expected to focus on a raft of economic data and dozens of company results.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) declined 26.69 points or 1.54% to end at 1,708.49 versus Wednesday’s close of 1,735.18.
The Nikkei 225 index plunged 3.89%, or 915.18 points, to end at 22,590.86, while the broader Topix index shed 3.52%, or 62.00 points, to 1,701.86.
The IMF's estimates for the United States and China were both reduced, with the fund predicting the countries would feel the brunt of their trade war next year.
US and European markets meandered on Tuesday, with investors nervous after 10-year US Treasury bond yields surged above 3.0% and the IMF sounded a cautious note on the global economy.
Adding to economic uncertainty on Tuesday was a bearish report from the International Monetary Fund, which lowered its forecast for Chinese economic growth in 2019 and warned that escalating trade tensions would drag on the world's second-largest economy.
Regional market weakness was in line with the easier Chinese market which opened after a week-long holiday as well as the move by China's central bank to cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks on concerns over the economic impact of its ongoing trade war with the US.
The key Nikkei 225 index slipped 0.18% or 44.12 points to 24,226.50 in early trade, while the broader Topix index was down 0.15% or 2.67 points at 1,821.36.
A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it inflates profits earned overseas when they are repatriated.
Investors largely ignored a decline in business sentiment among large Japanese manufacturers announced by the Bank of Japan shortly before the market opened.
Analysts said that foreign investors, who have been net sellers this year, are buying back Japanese stocks to catch up with the gains in the US market, where both the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have hit all-time highs this month.
The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.29% or 70.33 points to close at 23,940.26, rising for the seventh straight session.
The Nikkei 225 index closed up 0.82%, or 195.00 points, at 23,869.93. Over the week, the index gained 3.36%.
Analysts said the strong dollar-yen environment is also serving as a tailwind to Japanese exporters, though some think it is too early to be optimistic that long-only investors are investing in Japan.
Reports on Wednesday said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had proposed a fresh round of trade talks with Beijing to tackle problems before the Trump administration slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports.
Investor sentiment also got a boost from strong July machinery orders data, which showed a bigger-than-expected jump of 11.0% from the previous month.
Asian equities and the broader emerging markets have faced persistent selling pressure over recent months in the wake of the trade tensions and concerns about the crises in Turkey and Argentina.
Emerging markets in the region were struggling to steady after a punishing week, with Indonesia and the Philippines still badly scarred by fears of capital flight following crises in Argentina and Turkey.
The benchmark Nikkei index fell 129.42 points in early trade while the broader Topix index was down 7.38 points.