Asian stocks finished mixed on Wednesday on speculation whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain its dovish policy stance and following reports of Chinese stimulus.
On Tuesday, Chinese website Sina.com said the People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected $82 billion into the country's five largest banks. Many investors were anticipating some form of stimulus from the central bank following a spate of recent weak economic data.
"If this [report] is confirmed, it means the PBOC is undertaking QE (quantitative easing); it is printing money and giving capital to the banks in the hope they will lend it on. It isn't as aggressive as the Q2 program which saw the PBOC relaxing the reverse ratio. However, it is still a stimulus measure and one that has a broader reach," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG, in a note.
Later Wednesday, the Fed ends a two-day policy meeting. Many experts were bracing for more hawkish language, but a shift in expectations occurred overnight after Wall Street Journal journalist Jon Hilsenrath argued that the Fed wouldn't make any major change in its statement.
Nikkei 0.1% lower
Japanese shares erased gains in the final hour of trade, extending losses into a second day, and moving further away from an eight-month high hit on Friday.
Pioneer dropped 1.6 percent after saying that it intends to sell its turntable equipment unit for $550 million.
Mitsubishi Motor gained 0.6 percent after announcing that it will invest $600 million in Indonesia to build a factory and develop a new car.
China markets higher
Shanghai stocks closed up 0.4 percent in choppy trade, rebounding from Tuesday's two-week low.
The mainland's largest banks were mixed following reports of the central bank's liquidity injections. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of Communications rose 0.2 percent while Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China dropped 0.4 percent each.
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index meanwhile rose 1 percent, snapping an eight-day losing streak.
ASX dips 0.7%
Australia's benchmark finished at its lowest level since July 1, extending losses into a sixth straight day.
Banks were heavily sold off ahead of the Fed's policy decision and after the Australian central bank warned of a housing bubble on Wednesday. Australia New Zealand Banking lost more than 2 percent while Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac closed down more than 1 percent.
Kospi pops 1%
South Korean shares rose to their highest level in two weeks, gaining for a second consecutive day.
Department store operator Shinsegae jumped 1.5 percent after reporting a 53 percent annual rise in August operating profit.
Nifty up 0.5%
Indian shares rebounded after sinking over 1 percent on Tuesday, tracking global gains.