Asian equities largely recovered from the week's rout on Wednesday, brushing off continued weakness in the oil markets and a financial crisis brewing in Russia, as investors look ahead to the Federal Reserve's monthly meeting.
"Asia is experiencing some mixed moves ahead of the results from the FOMC meeting," wrote IG market strategist Stan Shamu. "There is a lot for investors to digest at the moment but the dominant theme is nervous trading in emerging markets as the Fed is tipped to switch to a hawkish bias."
Wall Street will hear from the Fed on Wednesday, with focus on whether the central bank reiterates its vow to maintain rates low for a considerable period. The U.S. dollar nursed its losses in Asian trading on Wednesday, pulling away from lows hit overnight on speculation that the central bank might take a more cautious tone on monetary policy.
Brent crude dropped below $60 a barrel on Wednesday, hovering near its lowest in five years as a supply glut dragged down prices. U.S. crude for January delivery dropped 97 cents to $54.96 a barrel after touching the lowest since May 2009 at $53.60 on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand is due to announce its policy decision later in the session and is expected to hold rates steady.
Wall Street overnight
U.S. stocks fell for a sixth session in seven overnight, as traders tracked the price of oil and pondered the impact of lower energy costs and Russia's economic troubles on the Federal Reserve's policy decisions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.7 percent while the S&P 500 shed 0.9 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.2 percent.