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.
"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.