TOKYO -- Asian stock markets rose Monday, lifted by robust Chinese trade figures that eased worries the global recovery is losing momentum.

In Japan, a weaker yen offset concerns about the country's economy after the ruling party's defeat in upper house elections Sunday.

The Nikkei 225 stock average reversed early losses and finished the morning session up 9,592.11 points, or 0.1 percent, at 9,592.11.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6 percent to 20,503.80 and the Shanghai Composite index advanced 1.1 percent to 2,497.88. Miners helped push Australia's S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4 percent to 4,413.90.

Benchmarks in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand also rose.

Regional markets were boosted by gains Friday on Wall Street and the trade figures from China, which were stronger than expected.

China's customs agency on Saturday said exports were up 35 percent in June from a year earlier despite concerns Europe's debt crisis could hurt trade. Exports to Europe rose 36 percent.

"Data for June shows China's trade account continuing to defy gravity, with exports strong despite mounting evidence of a faltering global recovery, and imports strong despite expectations of slowing domestic investment growth," Tom Orlik, an analyst in Beijing for Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, said in a research note.

In Tokyo trade, exporters benefited as the dollar climbed above the 89-yen level. Sony Corp. jumped 3.6 percent, and Honda Motor Co. rose 2.8 percent.

Japanese voters handed a stinging electoral defeat to Prime Minister Naoto Kan's party Sunday, which lost its slim majority in the upper house. The results reflect voters' rejection of Kan's proposal to raise taxes to lower the country's ballooning debt and points toward policy uncertainty in the months ahead.

In New York on Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.6 percent 10,198.03. The finish marked its best week in a a year as investors placed their last bets before the start of second-quarter earnings reports.

Sentiment also got a lift from news that China renewed Google's license to operate in the country.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 89.06 yen from 88.56 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.2596 from $1.2641.

Benchmark crude for August delivery was down 4 cents at $76.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (AP)