Japan's Nikkei share average gave up early gains and slipped on Thursday as the yen clawed back ground it had lost to the dollar, with sentiment further undercut by China's weak trade numbers.
Chinese exports in September dropped by a sharper-than-expected 10 percent from a year earlier.
The dollar skidded 0.4 percent to 103.73 yen, moving away from its Wednesday high of 104.49 yen, which was its highest level since late July.
The Nikkei slipped 0.4 percent to end at 16,774.24, moving away from last Friday's five-week highs.
The broader Topix finished flat at 1,342.31.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 edged down 0.1 percent