Mainland indices up
Chinese stocks finished 0.7 percent higher on Wednesday, hovering near five-year highs. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index flitted between gains and losses earlier, as news of more initial public offerings dampened positive momentum. Traders fear that the approval of 20 initial public offerings by the China Securities Regulatory Commission may sap liquidity out of the market.
Among gainers, Airlines rallied for a third straight day on the back of cheaper fuel. Air China led the sector with a near 3 percent gain, while China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines scaled up 1.4 and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Mainland brokerages were also higher after the country's regulator said it planned to relax rules for securities firms to set up subsidiaries. Citic Securities and Haitong Securities rocketed 4.2 and 3.4 percent each while Founder Securities closed up nearly 1 percent.
A recovery in energy plays also supported the bourse higher; PetroChina settled 6 percent higher while Sinopec and China Oilfield Services reversed losses to climb 2.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index reversed early losses to climb 0.5 percent in the afternoon session.
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Kospi adds 0.1%
South Korean shares recovered from early losses to finish slightly higher, as blue-chip stocks finished broadly higher on Wednesday, but remained not too far away from a more than one-year low of 1,876 points.
Hyundai Motor, the second heaviest weighting stock on the Kospi index, notched up nearly 4 percent after announcing that it would invest 81 trillion won over the next 4 years into expanding factories globally, as well as R&D purposes. Steelmaker Posco and utility Kepco also traded 1.6 and 3.1 percent higher, respectively.
Also in focus was Samsung Electronics which unveiled four mid-to-low end Galaxy models in India. Shares of the electronics giant doubled gains in the afternoon session to close up 1 percent.
LG Display, which plans to increase production capacity of its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV panels, climbed 2.5 percent.