Asian stock markets outside of Shanghai erased losses to end higher on Wednesday, but the mood was cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision.
Earlier in the day, Asian indices declined across the board after U.S. stocks were sold off on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite closed down nearly 2 percent each after data showed orders for business equipment fell 3.4 percent last month, highlighting the impact of the slowing global economy on U.S. multinationals.
Attention was on the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day review later in the day. No change in policy is expected, but market players will watch for differences in wording, such as "considerable time," that could hint at the timing of a rate hike.
"The question now becomes when will we see a rate rise? If corporates continue to feel the strain of the ever-strengthening USD on rate-rise speculation -which will lead to lower job creation and slower wage growth (which is already suffering) - will this stay the hand of the Fed?" said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG, in a note.