Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose even as inflation in the U.S. inflation rate in August came in hotter than expected, at 3.7% compared to economists' expectations of 3.6% in a Dow Jones survey.
Month-on-month, the consumer price index rose 0.6% in August, in line with expectations. In July, the CPI rose 3.2% year-on-year and 0.2% month-on-month.
However, excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core CPI rose 4.3%, in line with estimates and down from 4.7% in July. Federal Reserve officials focus more on core as it provides a better indication of where inflation is heading over the long term.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.46%, closing at 7,186.5 as unemployment numbers in August held steady at 3.7%, matching analysts' forecasts.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was 1.41% up and ended at 33,168.1, breaking above the 33,000 mark for the second time in over two months. The Topix saw a smaller gain of 1.13% and finished at 2,405.57, reaching a new 33-year high.
South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.51% to close at 2,572.89 and the Kosdaq was 1.61% higher at 899.47, snapping a three-day losing streak.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.45% in its final hour of trade, while mainland Chinese markets were in negative territory, with the CSI 300 down 0.08% and ending at 3,733.5 to mark a third straight day of losses.
Japan is not likely to unwind from its ultra-easy monetary policy anytime soon: Daiwa Securities
While the markets are expecting the Bank of Japan to exit its ultra-easy monetary policy, Daiwa Securities' deputy president Keiko Tashiro thinks these moves may not come as soon as some think.
BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda reportedly told the Yomiuri newspaper that the central bank may have enough information by year-end to judge if wages will continue to rise — a key factor the bank considers in monetary policy.
If wages were to continue rising, the BOJ could start lifting interest rates, which currently stands at -0.1%.
Tashiro pointed out that Daiwa expects inflation for 2023 to come at between 2.8% and 2.9%, but predicted that it will fall to 1.8% in 2024 — below the BOJ's target of 2%.
But she added that the BOJ will likely take a cautious stance: "I think they'll want to watch and see, because they don't want to dampen anything that might happen if they raise interest rates too early."
— Lim Hui Jie
Shares of Chinese EV makers in Europe fall after EU launches anti-subsidy probe
Shares of Chinese electric vehicle makers in Hong Kong fell after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced an investigation into subsidies given to electric vehicle makers in China.
All three stocks recovered some ground later in the day, although BYD and Nio were still in negative territory.
China's automobile industry body pushed back.
The EU needs to "objectively" consider China's EV sector and its highly competitive industrial supply chain, said secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, Cui Dongshu, adding that he "firmly" opposed the EU's assessment on China's new EVs.
— Lim Hui Jie
Softbank shares slip slightly after Arm prices IPO at $51 per share
Softbank shares slipped as much as 2.17% in the morning session, before paring some of its losses later in the day.
At $51 per share, Arm's fully diluted market capitalization, which includes outstanding restricted stock units, is worth more than $54 billion. Arm's shares will start trading on Thursday on the Nasdaq.
The U.K.-based company is listing at least 95.5 million American depository shares on the Nasdaq, and SoftBank, its current owner, will control about 90% of the company's outstanding shares.
— Lim Hui Jie
Australia unemployment rate holds steady in August, labor participation climbs
Australia's unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% in August, unchanged from the month before and in line with expectations of economists polled by Reuters.
The number of employed people climbed 64, 900 in August from a month ago as Australia's labor participation rate hit 67%, compared to an expectation for 66.7% in the Reuters poll.
— Lim Hui Jie
CNBC Pro: Arm IPO: Should you buy shares? Here's what 4 analysts are saying
Shares of Arm, the British chip design company founded in 1990, will begin trading in New York on Thursday for the first time after being taken private by SoftBank in 2016.
Analysts have expressed both optimism and caution on Arm's growth prospects and valuation.
— Ganesh Rao
August core inflation, excluding and food and energy, comes in slightly hotter than expected
Core CPI, excluding food and energy, rose 0.3% on a monthly basis in August, slightly ahead of the 0.2% increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The figure rose 4.3% from a year ago, in line with estimates.
The headline number rose 0.6% last month and in line with Dow Jones estimates. Headline prices increased 3.7% on a year-over-year basis, ahead of the 3.6% expected by economists.
— Samantha Subin
CNBC Pro: Goldman says these global stocks are set to soar on share buybacks — giving one over 100% upside
Analysts from Goldman Sachs named the European stocks they predict will announce significant buybacks until 2024 — which they say will present substantial upside to their share prices.
Buybacks essentially reduce the amount of shares in circulation and can bump up their price — one of many ways companies can reward shareholders.
— Amala Balakrishner
Google is cutting hundreds of jobs in its recruiting organization
Google is cutting hundreds of jobs in its global recruiting organization as part of a broader pullback in hiring over the next several quarters, CNBC confirmed.
Google-parent Alphabet shares were higher by 0.7% in afternoon trading.
— Jennifer Elias, Sarah Min
Gold hits multi-week low
Gold prices hit a low not seen in three weeks on Wednesday.
The metal reached a session low of 1,927.2. That's the lowest since Aug. 23, when it hit 1,926.2.
— Alex Harring, Gina Francolla