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Asian shares up on China's NPC but China stocks fall

Asian stocks were mostly higher on Wednesday, after stocks on Wall Street rallied on easing tensions in Ukraine. China's annual meeting of parliament, the National People's Congress, which kicked off Wednesday, also lent support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday there was "no need yet" for Russia to exercise its authority, adding that he was not considering the annexation of Crimea and any force used would be a last resort.

(Read more: Global markets rally on Putin 'climbdown')

The comments quelled fears of a conflict in Ukraine, boosting global risk assets.

Wall Street shares closed broadly higher on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.4 percent, while the Nasdaq climbed 1.8 percent. The S&P 500 gained 1.5 percent to end at a record closing high of 1,873.91.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Shanghai falls 0.9%

Mainland shares were the anomaly in Asia on Wednesday, trading in negative territory despite the country unveiling a 2014 growth forecast of 7.5 percent.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite was modestly lower for most of the session but registered a steep decline in the final hour of trading.

Worries about the first-ever domestic bond default weighed on the bourse. Solar equipment producer Chaori Solar said on Wednesday that it will not be able to meet interest payments on bonds due on Friday.

(Read more: China sets 2014 economic growth target at 7.5%)

"The work report reads as business as usual, it's a steady-state report," said Geoff Raby, Chairman and CEO of business advisory firm Geoff Raby & Associates told CNBC Asia's The Call.

"The growth report was what they did last year and the year before, so if you track them over the years, you will see a continuity in policy. The leadership is sending a clear message that it's comfortable at where they are at present," he added.

Gold stocks were hit as prices of the precious metal fell amid easing tensions in Ukraine. China's largest miner Zijin Mining tumbled 3.3 percent while Zhongjin Gold and Shandong Gold tanked 4 and 3 percent each.

Defense stocks tanked, despite news that its government plans to increase military spending by 12.2 percent. Beijing Aerospace Changfeng and Xi-an Aeroengine slumped 1.4 and 2.6 percent respectively.

Tokyo rallies 1.2%

Japan's benchmark Nikkei staged a strong rally to recoup Monday's steep losses and eventually managed a one-week closing high of 14,897.

"The market liked the fact that the possibility of a military clash has diminished. If the tensions over Ukraine keep receding, the market's focus will shift back to economic fundamentals," said Toshiyuki Kanayama, a market analyst at Monex Securities to Reuters.

(Read more: Key driver of gold in 2014: physical demand)

Index heavyweight Softbank added on 1.6 percent while Japan Aviation Electric rallied nearly 7 percent.

Automakers remained in focus; Nissan jumped 0.8 percent. Unconfirmed reports said the automaker may be teaming up with Daimler to jointly create a luxury small car in their Mexico facilities.

However, Toyota Motor erased early gains to fall 0.9 percent, despite news that it retained the top spot in car sales in Australia for the month of February. Its market share saw an increase of 18.7 percent.

Index Fast Retailing was the highlight of the day. Shares of the retailer surged over 3 percent, as the firm had its debut showing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Sydney gains 0.9%

Buoyed by better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP data, Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index finished nearly 1 percent higher to close at a five-and-a-half-year high of 5,446 on Wednesday

The Australian economy picked up speed, beating expectations by growing 0.8 percent on quarter in the last quarter of 2013 and 2.8 percent on-year. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a GDP rise of 0.7 percent on quarter.

Banking stocks were on a roll, after the Reserve Bank of Australia announced on Monday that it would hold its cash rates steady at a record low of 2.5 percent at a policy meeting on late Tuesday. This was in line with market expectations.

(Read more:Is talk of anAustralia comeback premature?)

Leading the gains were Westpac and investment firm Macquarie, who soared 1.7 percent each. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank rose 0.8 percent each.

Gold shares recovered from Tuesday's losses; Newcrest Mining inched up 0.2 percent while Evolution Mining gained 0.5 percent.

Korea surges 1%

Rebounding from Tuesday's one-week low, South Korean shares posted their biggest one-day gain in nearly two weeks on Wednesday.

Blue-chip stocks led the rally; Samsung piled on 1.2 percent while Posco added on 1.5 percent.

Hyundai Motor recovered from Tuesday's steep declines on news that its car sales fell 6.8 percent from a year earlier. Shares of the car maker bounced 1.6 percent.

(Read more: Will a weaker yuan heighten China property risks?)

Ship makers were the highlight for the day, as a report reflected a 20 percent annual growth in shipbuilding orders and that the industry will continue to do well this year.

Samsung Heavy climbed 4.3 percent while Hyundai Mipo Dockyard surged over 5 percent.

India up 0.3%

India's benchmark Sensex index finished higher, on news that India's election commission has set April 7 as the start of parliamentary elections, with voting to be held in nine staggered phases until May 12.

— Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
AUD/USD
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MQG
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DAI
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9983.T
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593
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1899
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NCM
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1014
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SHANGHAI
---
2836
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