Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday, as sentiment hit from a lower finish on Wall Street offset the positive impact of a rise in oil prices.
Australia's benchmark ASX 200 closed nearly flat at 5.535.00, retracing earlier losses of nearly 0.4 percent, with the energy and materials sub-indexes advancing 1.91 and 0.83 percent, respectively.
In New Zealand, the NZX 50 closed up 44.35 points, or 0.6 percent, at 7,355.02.
Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi fell 4.01 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,043.75.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index erased earlier gains, slipping 0.29 percent by late afternoon. Mainland Chinese markets ended a tad higher. The Shanghai composite edged up 0.19 point, or 0.01 percent, to 3110.23, while the Shenzhen composite added 0.317 percent, or 6.47 points, to 2043.28.
On Tuesday, China announced plans to open its Shenzhen stock market to foreign investors, after the State Council said the government had approved plans for the launch of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
The program, which was modeled after the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, would allow Shenzhen-based investors to buy Hong Kong-listed stocks and vice versa.
Analysts said the approval of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect was part of China's efforts to open up its financial sector to make it more competitive by international standards.
"Although the markets had expected an announcement after the successful conclusion of some technical issues recently, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong connect is an exorcism of the fall-out from the margin financed collapse of mainland stocks in 2015," strategists Sean Darby, Kenneth Chan and Irene Zhou from Jefferies, said in a note to clients.
The strategists added that alongside China's on-going reform of monetary policy tools and opening of the bond market, the approval of the stock connect "ought to assuage investors that financial reforms are still very much on the agenda, despite some recent tightening of the capital account."