Asian stock markets were mixed on Wednesday, with Australia in focus following the release of the country's federal budget.
"The reaction to Australia's budget has dominated Asian trade with most analysts feeling the outcome wasn't quite as aggressive as initially thought. All this means the Reserve Bank of Australia is unlikely to be hiking rates for a while, with some analysts feeling there will be no change in rates through 2014 and 2015," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in a note.
A mostly positive lead from U.S. stocks overnight lifted sentiment. The Dow rose to an intraday record of 16,735, while the S&P 500 crossed 1,900 for the first time, but both indices were unable to close at those levels.