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Asia stocks mostly higher on US data; oil concerns weigh

Asian equities rose on Wednesday following better-than-expected U.S. growth data but Japanese shares underperformed on the back of a stronger currency.

Gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's largest economy was revised up to 3.9 percent from 3.5 percent in the July-September period, data showed on Tuesday. That offset a separate report showing an unexpected drop in consumer confidence in November. Wall Street shares ended flat despite the positive GDP report.

Steep declines in commodity prices remained in focus. Brent crude traded below $80 a barrel on Wednesday while U.S. crude also extended losses after closing at a four-year low ahead of an OPEC meeting that has investors considering prospects for the first reduction in production quotas since 2008. Meanwhile, iron ore prices fell below $70 a ton for the first time since 2009.

Read MoreOPEC won't save oil prices: Trader

"There are three key reasons as why a cut in production may not eventuate yet. First, is the uneven impact of a drop in oil prices. Second, is the difficulty in enforcing compliance to production cuts given that many will want to produce more to gain market share. Finally, too quick a response to the correction in global oil prices amid still weak demand recovery may not be politically acceptable on multi-lateral platforms," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.

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 1.4% higher

Chinese stocks rose to a new three-year peak for the fourth consecutive session as cheer from the central bank's interest rate cut on Friday continued to support sentiment.

Read MoreMore rate cuts for China? Let's see data first

Financials were the biggest gainers on the Shanghai Composite. Huatei Security led the gains by 10 percent after saying that it received approval to list in Hong Kong while insurers New China Life Insurance and China Life were also 10 percent higher.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped to a one-week high, with Chow Tai Fook rallying 3 percent despite announcing a 23 percent annual fall in first-half profits.

ASX up 1.1%

Australia's benchmark index S&P ASX 200 rose to a one-week high, while the Australian dollar recovered after hitting a four-year low overnight. Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe called the currency overvalued, which underpinned losses.

Rio Tinto ended nearly 2 percent higher on reports that Glencore may be considering another takeover bid for the mining giant. According to the Australian Financial Review, Bernstein analyst Paul Gait said a move by Glencore to temporarily suspend its Queensland coal operations is a signal that a fresh offer is emerging.

Read MoreSlower growth times ahead favor these stocks

"The ASX 200 has broken the November downtrend, although volumes are fairly light and there doesn't seem to be one glaring catalyst...While everyone is focused on the Japanese, US and European economies, I think Australia could be the economy to watch most closely in 2015, judging by current market pricing," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in a note.

Nikkei dips 0.1%

Japan's Nikkei index ended just below the flat line following a choppy session, weighed down by a stronger currency. Dollar-yen fell below the 118 handle, retreating from a seven-year high hit last week. Caution also seeped in ahead of a raft of economic data due for release on Friday, including inflation, household spending and industrial output figures.

Honda Motor tanked nearly 3 percent after admitting it under-reported serious accidents in the U.S. during the past decade.

Aluminum stocks rallied after the Nikkei newspaper reported that Toyota Motor will use the metal instead of steel in its luxury cars. Daiki Aluminum surged over 10 percent while UACJ Corpincreased nearly 9 percent.

Kospi flat

Trading in South Korean shares was quiet for a second day as investors consolidated gains from a seven-week high hit on Monday.

Defense firm Samsung Techwin slumped 15 percent on news of an acquisition by Hanwha Chemical. Shares of the latter firm jumped nearly 1 percent.

Read MoreWarning: India's recovery may have hit a wall

Nifty up 0.1%

Indian stocks rose 0.1 percent ahead of the expiry of November equity derivatives on Thursday and third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data due on Friday.