Asia shares rise on US Fed minutes

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Asian shares rose after minutes from the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting reduced fears of the central bank increasing interest rates.

US policymakers showed concerns about the risks to the global economy and the US dollar's strength.

"There's absolutely no indication of an early rate hike," said Tohru Yamamoto, strategist at Daiwa Securities.

In greater China, Hong Kong shares rose following a rally on Wall Street from the Fed minutes.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 1.2% at 23,534.53.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite index ended up 0.3% at 2,389.37 after hitting a 19-month closing high on Wednesday.

However, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 reversed early gains to close down 0.75% at 15,478.93.

Shares had risen in morning trade following stronger-than-expected economic data, which showed Japan machinery orders rose 4.7% in August from a month earlier.

But a rally in the yen against the dollar hit shares in exporting companies, pushing the index lower. The dollar weakened as the prospects of early US rate rises faded, and against the yen it dropped to 107.92 yen from 108.11 yen on Wednesday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 index closed up more than 1% at 5,296.68.

Shares of National Australia Bank (NAB) rose 1% despite its warning that its full-year earnings would fall by up to 14% because of higher charges at its UK business.

South Korea's stock market is closed for a public holiday.