Powell Inflation, Chinese CPI, PPI; Japanese CGPI

Customers at a fresh produce market in Shanghai, China, on Monday, August 7, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Wednesday, even as major Wall Street benchmarks rose after positive comments from US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Powell indicated he was cautious about leaving interest rates too high, saying “reducing policy too late or too little could unnecessarily weaken economic activity and employment.”

In Asia, investors will be assessing inflation data from China and Japan. China is releasing its consumer and producer price data for June.

Inflation in China remained just below expectations, The consumer price index rose 0.2% in June, less than the 0.4% increase expected by economists polled by Reuters and down from 0.3% in May.

The country's PPI fell 0.8% year-on-yearin line with expectations and a smaller decline of 0.8% compared to the 1.4% decline in May.

Hong-Kong Hang Seng Index rose 1.01%, while the CSI 300 in mainland China fell 0.4% after the CPI release.

Reuters also reported that China's largest insurer, Ping An Insurance, is considering issuing convertible bonds worth up to $5 billion, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Japanese business goods price index rose to 2.9% in June from a year earlierin line with expectations and rising faster than a revised 2.6% in May. The CGPI measures price changes of goods traded within the business sector.

Japanese Nikkei 225 continued Tuesday's gains, rising slightly, but the broad-based Topix fell 0.21%.

South Korea's Cospi rose 0.13%, while the small cap Kosdaq fell 0.2%.

On Wednesday, the National Samsung Electronics Union, the largest union of electronics giant Samsung Electronics, called for an indefinite strike after it was announced that the strike would initially take place from Monday to Wednesday.

Shares of Samsung Electronics fell 0.22% after the announcement.

Separately, the South Korean defense manufacturer Hanwha Aerospace has announced an order from Romania worth 1.38 trillion won ($1 billion) to supply the country with K9 howitzers.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.18%.

In the U.S., the S&P 500 climbed to a new record high Tuesday night after Powell's comments, rising 0.07% to 5,576.98, marking its 36th record close of the year.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.14% to close at 18,429.29, also ending the day at a record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.13%.

—CNBC's Brian Evans and Sarah Min contributed to this report.

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