Asia markets closed mixed Wednesday, following a weaker finish on Wall Street overnight as traders await the U.S. Federal Reserve decision due later.
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to stand pat on policy at its meeting today, but analysts will be closely watching the wording of the Federal Open Market Committee's statement for cues on the direction ahead. That uncertainty is helping to keep markets constrained.
"The Fed meeting this evening has loomed large over Asian markets today," said Angus Nicholson, market analyst at IG, in note Wednesday. "Volumes were down across the board, as investors decided to keep money on the sidelines until they see the ultimate decision from the Fed."
The Australian S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.15 percent, or 7.58 points, at 5,119 points. The materials subindex was down 0.72 percent. but losses were offset by gains of 0.44 percent in the energy subindex and 0.54 percent increase in the heavily weighted financial subindex.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 shed 0.83 percent, or 142.62 points, to 16,974.45 by Wednesday's close, extending Tuesday's 0.68 percent fall.