Asia Ends Mostly Higher Ahead of Fed Move

ASX 200
CNBC 100

Asian shares were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors waited for the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision this week and progress in U.S. budget talks.

The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 index rose 0.1 percent.

Japan's Nikkei share average dipped on Tuesday, although it held above the key 9,500-mark, as investors stayed cautious over signs that the index is overbought after a near 10 percent rally over the past month.

The benchmark index ended 0.1 percent lower at 9,525.32, but supported by its five-day moving average at 9,520.09, while the broader Topix index eased 0.3 percent to 786.07.

Struggling Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics eased off a session high of 8 percent to end 0.3 percent higher after it said it will receive 150 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in aid from a government-backed fund and manufacturers to help it stay afloat.

Sharp rose 2.5 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that the struggling TV maker has secured an additional funding of 20 billion yen from Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Mizuho Trust.

Best Denki surged 14.5 percent to 142 yen, hitting a more than two-month high, after the Japan Fair Trade Commission approved home electronics retailer Yamada Denki's acquisition of Best Denki.

Shares of power utilities came under pressure on news that Japan Atomic Power, in which power utilities hold a stake, may decommission one of its reactors after seismologists concluded the plant is sitting over an active fault line. Kansai Electric Power sank 7.5 percent, Chubu Electric Power sagged 5.1 percent and Hokuriku Electric Power dropped 5.5 percent.

South Korean shares posted modest gains on Tuesday, led by shipbuilders, while investors waited to see if the U.S. Federal Reserve would unveil more measures this week to support the world's largest economy.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.4 percent at 1,964.62 points, its highest closing level since Oct.9.

Samsung Electronics fell 1 percent, easing from an all-time high reached the previous session on a rosy earnings outlook due to the popularity of its smartphones.

Shipbuilders outperformed, with STX Offshore & Shipbuilding soaring nearly 10 percent following a media report that its parent firm STX Corporation was close to a deal to sell a controlling stake in Singapore-listed affiliate STX OSV Holdings.

Shares in other STX affiliates rallied, with shipper STX Pan Ocean jumping by the daily limit of 15 percent.

Australian shares climbed 0.4 percent to a seven-week high on Tuesday, elevated by higher commodities prices as investors bet on fresh economic stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve this week.

The resource sector led gains, with top miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto advancing 1.3 percent and 0.8 percent respectively as iron ore prices jumped.

Spot iron ore prices on Tuesday rose to their highest level since July, backed by buying from top importer China. That helped mid-tier iron ore miner Atlas Iron jump 9.8 percent to A$1.52.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 18.1 points to 3,576, after an intraday high of 4,581 that matched the 15-month high hit on Oct. 18.

Lend Lease shares rose 2.2 percent after the company said it was selected as preferred bidder for a A$1 billion revamp of Sydney's convention centre and entertainment centres.

Shares in engineering firm Downer EDI jumped 5.2 percent to A$3.65 after the company reached a negotiated settlement on a Singapore tunnel dispute and agreed to pay S$50 million.

Linc Energy told the Australian Stock Exchange in response to a query it had no explanation for the 17.5 percent surge in its shares on Tuesday. Linc said it has provided updates on its Carmichael coal project and clean energy technology in recent days.

Investors shied away from recent strong gains for high-yielding stocks, sending telecoms firm Telstra down 0.7 percent. It was the most actively traded stock.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index ended in negative territory, down 4.5 points to 4,026.1.

Chinese shares eased slightly on Tuesday as investors locked in some profits after a recent rally as data showed bank lending in November grew at a slower pace than expected.

The CSI300 of top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings fell 0.6 percent to 2,258.5 while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.4 percent to close at 2,074.7.

The beleaguered white liquor sector got a lift after biggest producer Kweichow Moutai rebutted reports it used additives in its products. Shares of the company were up 2.1 percent.

Hong Kong shares managed to eke out gains helped by a strong day for AIA, which countered weakness in China plays hit by profit-taking as mainland markets eased from a one-month high.

The Hang Seng index closed up 0.2 percent at 22,323.9. The China Enterprises index closed flat.

Insurer AIA rose 2.8 percent after the U.S. Treasury said it had launched the sale of its remaining stake in American International Group.

Shares of Citic Pacific rose 3.9 percent and were the most actively traded stock on the Hang Seng after the company, mired in financing issues related to its Australian projects, tapped debt markets to raise up to $250 million.

India's BSE Index ended down 0.15 percent, while the 50-share Nifty Index closed lower 0.2 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times Index rose up 0.1 percent while Malaysia's KL Composite Index rose 0.6 percent.