Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday ahead of central bank meetings in the U.S. and Europe.
Gains were underpinned by a positive handover from Wall Street overnight, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 100 points, recovering from two days of declines.
Global investors are awaiting the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy review as well as the European Central Bank's meeting later in the day. The Fed isn't expected to take any action on interest rates, with consensus for a rate hike pushed to September.
The ECB, meanwhile, could announce a change to Emergency Liquidity Assistance to Greece. Talks between the bankrupt country and its international creditors remain stuck in deadlock as Athens faces a $1.8 billion repayment to the International Monetary Fund by the end of June.
Shanghai climbs 1.6%
Mainland stocks rallied following a choppy session of trade. Earlier in the day, the Shanghai Composite dropped 1 percent as investors worried about an upcoming wave of IPOs and margin financing curbs.
Banks led the gains on news of financial reforms. China's cabinet allowed Bank of Communications to introduce more private shareholding, Reuters reported on Tuesday, sending the stock 1 percent higher. Meanwhile, Bank of China and China Construction Bank rose more than 2 percent each.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose nearly 1 percent as lawmakers voted on a controversial China-backed electoral reform package. Several experts say the government should veto the proposal, which allows residents the right to vote for a chief executive in 2017, but maintains that candidates would be chosen by Beijing.
ASX 1% higher
Australia's index ended at a two-week closing high, ending a three-day losing streak, after Warren Buffett told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that he will continue investing in Australia following Berkshire Hathaway's stake in insurer IAG this week.
Nikkei dips 0.2%
Japan's benchmark Nikkei index reversed gains after breaching the 20,300 level in early trade. Trade data for May released before the market open worried investors, with exports missing expectations and imports coming in worse than expected. The index still remains well off a fifteen-year high of 20,655 points hit at the end of May.
Kospi gains 0.3%
South Korea's benchmark Kospi ended higher, recovering from Tuesday's eleven-week low. News that regulators will develop measures for the market to be included in MSCI's developed markets index helped to boost sentiment.