Asian markets outside Japan traded higher on 17 June, ahead of monetary policy decisions in Europe and the US, from the European Central Bank (ECB) and from the US Federal Reserve.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 0.19%, or 38.67 points, lower at 20,219.27.

The Shanghai Composite finished 1.65%, or 80.47 points, higher at 4,967.90.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished 0.70%, or 187.09 points, higher at 26,753.79.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 finished 1.08%, or 59.60 points, higher at 5,595.40.

South Korea's Kospi Composite finished 0.30%, or 6.14 points, higher at 2,034.86.

India's S&P BSE Sensex finished 0.55%, or 146.15 points, higher at 26,832.66.

Market movements

The Nikkei finished a tad lower post the release of dismal trade data.

Japan's export growth slowed for a second straight month in May, with Ministry of Finance (MOF) data showing that exports rose 2.4% year-on-year in May, which is less than the 3.5% gain expected by economists.

Capital Economics said in a note to clients: "The trade deficit narrowed slightly in May, but should creep higher in the second half of the year as the weaker yen pushes up import costs."

The Shanghai Composite traded higher amid concerns surrounding margin-financing limits and an upcoming wave of IPOs.

The Hang Seng gained as the Asian financial hub's legislature debated a Beijing-backed electoral reform plan. Pro-democracy parties occupy 27 seats in the legislature and have pledged to veto the reforms. Beijing has cautioned pro-democracy voices not to mothball the package.

The ASX gained on the back of comments made by billionaire Warren Buffet, who told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that he will continue investing in Australia following Berkshire Hathaway's stake in insurer IAG.

The Kospi rose on the back of news that regulators propose to introduce measures for the market to be included in MSCI's developed markets index.

The Sensex gained on the back of above-normal monsoon rains so far.

Capital Economics said in a note: "The lifting of restrictions on foreign direct investment into a number of sectors of the economy has been one of the successes of Prime Minister Modi's reform agenda so far. FDI inflows have picked up, but they remain low relative to the size of India's economy. Wider-ranging reform is still needed."

Company stocks

In Tokyo, Suzuki Motor lost 2.23%.

In Shanghai, Bank of China added 2.69%, while China Construction Bank gained 2.34%. China CITIC Bank rose 2.03%.

In Hong Kong, Evergrande Real Estate Group shot up 6.59%, while rival China Vanke jumped 3.53%.

In Sydney, Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 2.28%, while ANZ rose 2.14%.

In Seoul, Cheil Industries jumped 3.25%, while steel-maker Posco lost 2.47%.

In Mumbai, consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever jumped 3.15%, while automaker Maruti Suzuki lost 0.25%.