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Japan leads Asia shares higher; Fed speakers, China reforms watched

Asian equity markets rose on Tuesday with focus turning to the last day of a key policy meeting in China and the duration of the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus program.

Speaking to CNBC, Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher said "markets should bear in mind that this [QE] program cannot go on forever. Our balance sheet has become bloated and at some point, we will have to taper back on pace of purchases but that doesn't mean we'll stop."

Comments from Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart are due later on Tuesday.

(Read more: Why Asian investors should not sweat an early taper)

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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China reforms watched

China's leaders are due to unveil a 10-year reform agenda later in the day as the Third Plenum of the Communist Party wraps up. "All eyes are on the Third Plenary meeting, which so far has seen media speculation around potential actions/reforms, but nothing concrete as yet," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG.

(Read more: China plenum to 'surprise' on reforms: Stephen Roach)

Nikkei adds 2%

Japanese investors cheered as dollar-yen traded above the 99 handle, hitting its highest level in nearly two months. That saw the benchmark index rise to a four-week high, extending Monday's 1 percent rally.

Sony rallied 3.6 percent on the back of the weaker yen and after reporting that U.S. hedge fund Third Point was ranked as its fifth-largest shareholder at the end of September.

Advertising firm Dentsu jumped 5.4 percent after revising up its group net profit forecast for this year by 73 percent.

Kospi up 0.9%

Seoul shares snapped their six-day losing streak, after closing at a two-month low on Monday, as investors went bargain hunting for large-cap stocks.

Samsung Electronics led gains by 2 percent while LG Display climbed nearly 4 percent.

Shanghai up 0.8%

China's benchmark index rebounded after hitting multi-week lows in the previous session, but sentiment was cautious after the mainland's supervisory body for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) denied reports that it will allow greater investment from private investors.

(Read more: China expected to cut growth target to 7%)

Banks were higher despite data showing that new bank lending fell to a ten-month low in October, which raised fears the central bank may be tightening monetary policy. Shanghai Pudong and Merchants Bank jumped over 1 percent each while Hua Xia Bank led gains by 2.2 percent.

Sydney 0.1% higher

Australia's benchmark index pared gains after crossing the 5,400 mark earlier in the session. Sentiment was dampened after National Australia Bank's business survey showed confidence pulling back from three-and-a-half year highs in October.

News Corp skidded over 3 percent after U.S.-listed shares fell as much as 4 percent overnight as the firm missed on revenues.

Fertilizer group Incitec Pivot jumped over 7 percent after its full-year net profit beat analyst estimates, despite falling 18 percent.

Emerging markets in focus

The Philippines benchmark index recovered 0.9 percent after closing at its lowest level in over a month low in the previous session. President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity in the wake of super typhoon Haiyan.

(Read more: Tapering is 'watershed moment' for Southeast Asia: HSBC)

Meanwhile, Thai stocks rallied 0.5 percent after the country's Senate rejected a controversial amnesty bill late on Monday and India's benchmark index closed down by 1 percent.

By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
ASX 200
---
DJIA
---
S&P 500
---
FOXA
---
JPY/USD
---
593
---
3422
---
6758.T
---
8306.T
---
4324.T
---

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