Japan, Australia Up on State of Union Speech

Asia shares mostly rose Wednesday as investors digested U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 29.61 points, or 0.1%, to 20,874.06.

The Japanese yen, considered a safe-haven asset, traded at 109.75 to the U.S. dollar, weakening from levels near 108.5 last week.

In Australia, the ASX 200 gained 20.23 points, or 0.3%, to 6,026.15

The Australian dollar fetched $0.7145 U.S., dropping from an earlier session high of $0.7245. That followed after a speech from Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe revealed that the central bank is no longer as convinced that the next move in interest rates is likely to be up.

Still, the so-called Big Four banks in Australia stumbled followed gains in the previous session. Shares of ANZ were down 1.7%, Commonwealth Bank lost 1.4%, Westpac shed 1.2% and the National Australia Bank fell 1.4%.

On Tuesday, banking stocks had gained after a special government-appointed inquiry into Australia's financial sector did not recommend breaking up any of the banks or interfering in the way they lend money.

In his State of the Union address, Trump claimed the only things that can stop a strong U.S. economy "are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations." He faces a slew of investigations from the new House Democratic majority and warned the party against coming probes into his policies and personal finances.

Trump also announced he will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of February as part of his administration's efforts to roll back the country's nuclear program.

Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Singapore, New Zealand and Korea remained shuttered for holiday