Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday as investors fearful of a debt implosion in Europe held onto hopes that the Federal Reserve will announce measures to jolt the U.S. economy.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index was marginally higher at 8,721.98 after the Finance Ministry released trade data showing the country's exports rose for the first time in six months. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4 percent to 1,845.09.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.8 percent to 18,866.30. Australia's S&P/ASX 200, swinging between gains and losses, was less than 0.1 percent up at 4,041.30. Benchmarks in New Zealand and Taiwan were higher. Those in Singapore and Malaysia fell.
On Wall Street, stocks rose on hopes the U.S. central bank would announce steps to boost the flagging economy. Many analysts believe the Fed will announce a new stimulus plan at the end of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.1 percent at 11,408.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.2 percent to 1,202.09. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.9 percent to 2,590.24.