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Asia stocks join US rally; Fed statement in focus

Asian equity markets followed their U.S. peers higher on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement.

The Federal Open Market Committee concludes a two-day session later in the day, where it is widely expected to announce the end of its massive bond-buying stimulus. A new CNBC survey revealed that market participants scaled back their expectation of an interest rate hike; they now expect a hike in July 2015, a month later than when the survey was conducted in September.

Read MoreMarkets could shrug off Fed if it sounds dovish

"We should see the Fed end its quantitative easing (QE) program, pushing the U.S. into a new era of monetary policy, although the cynics still feel that QE4 is just around the corner. The statement should continue to voice a 'significant under-utilization' of the labor market and a 'considerable' period of time between the end of QE and the first rate hike," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG.

Ahead of the outcome, all three major indices on Wall Street bounced more than 1 percent, with the S&P 500 ending above its 50-day moving average for the first time in almost a month. Underpinning gains was data showing October consumer confidence hitting its highest level since 2007.

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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Nikkei 1.5% higher

Japanese shares hit a three-week high, resuming their gains after ending a two-day winning streak on Tuesday. September industrial production data released before the market open also helped to boost sentiment, with factory output rose at its fastest pace since January.

Honda Motors closed flat after reporting a 4 percent fall in operating profit for the July-September period. Nomura popped over 4 percent after announcing its quarterly net profit rose 39 percent on year, beating forecasts.

Shanghai up 1.2%

Mainland shares climbed to a three-week high, extending gains following Tuesday's 2 percent rally. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index also popped over 1 percent.

Read MoreChina can afford 7% growth rate in 2015: World Bank

Transportation stocks were the best performers. Among shippers, COSCO Shipping and China Shipping Development surged by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent each. In the airline sector, China Eastern Airlines also rose 10 percent.

Standard Chartered tanked over 3 percent after issuing its second profit warning in five months.

ASX flat

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index reversed gains after hitting a six-week high earlier in the session, extending losses into a second day.

Banks tumbled ahead of the start of earnings season later this week; Australia New Zealand Banking fell over 1 percent while Westpac slid 2 percent.

Read MoreBlame the cows: kiwi dollar may stumble

Kospi jumps 1.8%

South Korean shares rose to its highest levels in nearly three weeks as investors shrugged off weak data. The country's current account surplus fell to a ten-month low in September, according to central bank data released before the market open.

LG Electronics surged 4 percent after saying that third-quarter operating profit more than doubled from a year earlier.

Shinhan Financial ended nearly 8 percent higher after posting a 20.8 percent annual rise in quarterly profits.

Nifty adds 0.6%

Indian shares extended gains after closing at a more than one-month high in the previous session.