Asian Shares Hits New Highs Ahead of Fed Move
Asian shares rose on Wednesday buoyed by strength in global equities markets on hopes of a deal from the U.S. budget talks and expectations for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve when it ends its two-day policy meeting later in the day.
The U.S. central bank is expected to announce a new round of Treasury securities purchases on Wednesday, replacing its "Operation Twist" stimulus, which expires at the end of the year.
The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index gained 0.5 percent.
Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Wednesday, hitting a 7-1/2 month high led by gains in tech shares which lifted Wall Street, but gains may be trimmed in late trade as investors are likely to lock in profits before Sunday's election.
The benchmark index closed up 0.6 percent to 9,581.4, coming off a session peak of 9,606.2, the highest level since April 2. The broader Topix index also added 0.6 percent to end at 791.2.
Chip-related shares outperformed the market as Advantest gained 2.8 percent, Nikon jumped 3.5 percent and Canon added 2.3 percent.
Other exporters advanced on the back of a weak yen, with Honda Motor gaining 1.4 percent and Nissan Motor adding 0.9 percent as a weak yen lifts their overseas earnings when repatriated.
Panasonic shares jumped 3.6 percent after it announced plans to sell subsidiary Sanyo Electric's digital camera business to Advantage Partners, the Nikkei reported, as it looks to jettison unprofitable businesses.
Japan's core machinery orders rose 2.6 percent in October from the previous month, up for the first time in three months, government data showed on Wednesday.
China shares recovered from earlier losses to close higher as financial stocks and liquor producer Kweichow Moutai's 4.7 percent rise led an afternoon rebound.
In China, the CSI300 of top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings closed up 0.4 percent at 2,267.77. The Shanghai Composite Index also rose 0.4 percent.
Utility company Huaneng Power extended its recent slide falling another 1.5 percent and bringing its losses this week to 3.8 percent on concerns over anticipated electricity-tariff cuts in 2013.
Hong Kong shares reached a 16-month closing high, widening their outperformance over wobbly mainland-listed peers, as stepped-up merger activity and a strong showing overnight on Wall Street encouraged investors to extend a recent rally.
Guoco Group, a holding company which has investments in financial services, property and leisure businesses, saw shares surge more than 30 percent after its major shareholder offered to take the company private.
Sands China rose 2.9 percent and Galaxy Entertainment jumped 3 percent after brokerage Credit Suisse named the two as among its favoured Macau picks. Credit Suisse expects Macau gambling revenue in December to grow as much as 31 percent from a year earlier.
South Korean shares edged higher,shrugging off North Korea's rocket launch in favor of anticipating a new round of bond purchases from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 1 percent, recouping Tuesday's losses from profit-taking to reach its second highest close.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.6 percent at 1,975.44 points.
LG Display extended the week's losses, falling 4.5 percent. Market watchers said a sell-off may have been prompted by a media report projecting poor earnings early next year.
Other large caps such as automakers Hyundai Motor and sibling Kia Motors were also falling slightly.
Shipper STX Pan Ocean was one of the biggest winners, with shares jumping almost 15 percent after its biggest stakeholder was considering selling a controlling stake in STX Pan Ocean.
Australian shares neared a 17-month high on Wednesday, as the resource sector rose on higher commodities prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 7.7 points to 4,585.8, extending gains into a fourth straight session.
Spot iron ore prices rose to their highest level since July, backed by buying from top importer China in anticipation of a stronger pickup in demand next year, boosting Rio Tinto by 0.7 percent and Fortescue Metals by 1.6 percent.
Linc Energy soared 14.4 percent, following a 15.5 percent surge on Tuesday. The company told the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday it had no explanation for the surge and it had provided updates on its Carmichael coal project in recent days.
Bucking the trend, New Zealand's NZX 50 index fell 0.7 percent at 3,9925.1.
In India, the BSE Index ended down 0.3 percent, while the NSE Index closed lower 0.3 percent.