Asia Markets

Asian shares gain as Crimea tensions ebb; FOMC in focus


Asian equity markets rose on Tuesday, stabilizing after recent volatility, as the implementation of sanctions on Russia lifted global risk appetite.

The U.S. and EU slapped 11 sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian officials on Monday, excluding Russian President Vladimir Putin, following Sunday's referendum in Crimea. Putin is expected to address Russia's parliament later on Tuesday on making Crimea part of the Russian Federation, one day after signing a decree recognizing the region as a sovereign state.

(Read more: No one supports a military response: Ukraine PM)

Wall Street cheered the news with the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapping a five-session losing streak, posting its best one-day gain in two weeks, while the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell nearly 13 percent, compared to Friday's 9 percent spike.

Focus now turns to the start of the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting later on Tuesday, which is expected to see policy makers continuing to taper asset purchases.

Nikkei up 1%

Japanese shares moved off their one-month lows thanks to bargain-hunting and as the yen resumed its decline against the greenback to approach the 102 level. Still, the benchmark remains 5 percent lower from its five-week high of 15,300 hit on March 7.

Are investors too complacent about Crimea?

Among the top performers, Mitsubishi Electric climbed 3 percent after raising annual dividend payouts to 17 yen while index heavyweight SoftBank jumped over 3 percent, extending the previous day's 5 percent rally.

(Read more: 'Summer of discontent' brewing for market: Pro)

Official land price data is due for release later in the day and traders will be closely watching the results to gauge the state of inflation.

Sydney up 0.5%

Australia's benchmark rebounded after skidding to one-month lows in the past two consecutive sessions. In minutes from its March 4 meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia said recent data strengthened its view that interest rates could remain low for "some time to come."

Resources led the gains as copper prices edged higher. BHP Billiton jumped 1.7 percent while Rio Tinto rose 1 percent. But gold producers fell as bullion prices fell off their six-month peak; Newcrest Mining tanked 7 percent while Evolution Mining eased 6 percent.

(Read more: Has gold regained its safe-haven appeal?)

Department store operator David Jones rose 1.2 percent after saying it will assess the value of a proposed merger with Myer Holdings.

China faces a 'policy trilemma': S&P

Shanghai flat

Mainland equities took a breather after rallying 1 percent on Monday following Beijing's sweeping plans to promote urbanization.

Property developers fell after new home prices rose an annual 8.7 percent in February, slower than January's 9.6 percent gain. Vanke lost over 2 percent and China Merchants Property shed 3 percent.

Meanwhile, reports that developer Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate has defaulted on almost $400 million worth of bank loans also exacerbated concern over the real estate sector.

(Read more: Shanghai Composite eyes potential rebound pattern)

Kospi 0.6% higher

South Korean shares extended gains into a second session, posting their biggest daily percentage gain in nearly two weeks thanks to a rally in tech heavyweights. LG Electronics soared 4 percent while SK Hynix added 1 percent.

Emerging markets mostly higher

India's benchmark index hit an all-time high at 22,040 for the second time this month on strong foreign buying. Among the top winners, Maruti Suzuki climbed as much as 8 percent on plans to seek minority shareholder approval to set up a plant in the state of Gujarat.

Meanwhile, Philippine shares closed up 1 percent at a one-week high but Indonesia's Jakarta Composite fell 1 percent.

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