China, Japan's shares clinch new highs ahead of Fed

ASX flat

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index recouped earlier losses to finish unchanged as some of the index heavyweights turned positive. Rio Tinto, which was hurt by iron ore prices dwindling to six-year lows in the morning session, rebounded 0.7 percent, while Westpac closed up 0.4 percent.

However, a 5.3 percent slump in shares of Fortescue Metals weighed on the resource-heavy bourse. The miner had scrapped a $ 2.5 billion high-yield bond issue announced on Tuesday.

Oil-related counters were also stung by declining commodity prices; Santos and Oil Search lost more than 1 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Orica slumped 5.3 percent on news that its CEO Ian Smith will be stepping down.

Outperforming the bourse was the country’s biggest construction materials and building products group Boral, whose shares shot up 1.7 percent after announcing a share buyback program for up to 5 percent of the company’s issued capital.

Read MoreAussie heiress bets on iron ore rebound with $ 10B mine

Kospi flat

South Korea’s Kospi index finished a whisker below the flatline after wavering between gains and losses following data that showed a rise in the country’s jobless number. Released before the market open, South Korea’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February came in at 3.9 percent, higher than the 3.4 percent in the preceding month.

Carmakers Hyundai Motor and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors pared gains late Wednesday as news that their February sales grew at a lower-than-market average pace in Europe took hold. A combined 2.3 percent drop in in energy plays like SK Innovation and S-Oil also brought the index lower.

AK Holdings, the holding firm of budget carrier Jeju Air, extended losses into a second day after Singapore Airlines confirmed yesterday that it is in talks to take a stake in the South Korean low-cost carrier. Shares of AK tanked 3.6 percent.

STI slips 0.2%

Singapore’s Straits Times index drifted lower on the back of news that the health condition of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father, has deteriorated further. The Singapore dollar hovered near its lowest level since July 2010 to trade at 1.3895 per dollar.

CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this market report

SGX Singapore Update

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