Asian shares finished mostly higher Tuesday amid growing expectations among traders that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates at its March policy meeting next week.
Expectations for a rate hike were at 86.4 percent on Tuesday Asian time, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. Also, U.S. factory orders rose 1.2 percent month-on-month and durable goods orders climbed 2 percent, both beating the market consensus.
"Better-than-expected numbers led the market to believe that the Fed will have more reason to raise the interest rate in the FOMC meeting next week," said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets, in a Tuesday note.
Down Under, the ASX 200 recovered from a negative start early on to close up 14.88 points or 0.26 percent at 5,761.39, after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 percent.
The RBA statement by Governor Philip Lowe stated that "the improvement in the global economy has contributed to higher commodity prices, which are providing a significant boost to Australia's national income."
The Australian dollar strengthened to $0.7611 at 3:04 p.m. HK/SIN from the $0.75 handle, following the policy decision.