Asia stocks mostly rise with Australia leading gains

Asia  stocks were mixed on Wednesday as investors reacted to recent comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Shares in Australia led gains among the region’s major markets, with the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia jumping 2.42% to close at 5,923.90.

Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.17% to about 3,279.71 while the Shenzhen component added 0.665% to roughly 13,110.07. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was gained 0.11% to end its trading day at 23,742.51.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi closed above the flatline at 2,333.24, following Tuesday’s decline of more than 2%.

Stocks in Japan were edged lower on their first trading day of the week following holidays on Monday and Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 slipped fractionally to 23,346.49 while the Topix index dipped 0.13% to 1,644.25.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index advanced 0.18%.