Asian markets rose Wednesday as investors continued to be hopeful that central banks all over the world would soon announce stimulus measures to tackle the weakening global economy.

The Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.25 percent or 5.51 points to 2234.71. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.18 percent or 34.97 points to 19770.50. Major gainers were China Coal Energy Ltd (5.43 percent) and Jiangxi Copper Co (1.58 percent).

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.40 percent or 36.12 points to 9102.71. Among major gainers were Chiyoda Corp (3.34 percent), Sumco Corp (3.06 percent) and Inpex Corp (3.01 percent).

South Korea's KOSPI Composite Index rose 0.39 percent or 7.26 points to 1875.08. Shares of KEC Holdings Co Ltd climbed 3.85 percent and shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 0.34 percent.

India's BSE Sensex rose 0.31 percent or 54.15 points to 17479.86. Major gainers were Ashok Leyland (2.87 percent), Lanco Infratech Ltd (2.25 percent) and Syndicate Bank (1.31 percent).

Market sentiments were positive as investors sensed that central banks could announce monetary easing measures to strengthen the global economy. Investors are hoping that at the ECB meeting at Frankfurt Thursday, there will be an announcement of the main refinancing rate to be cut to below 1 percent.

Market players are hoping that the U.S. Fed will soon announce monetary stimulus policy in the face of intensifying pressures on the economy. Investors feel that the weakening manufacturing sector and disappointing employment figures will persuade the Fed to announce monetary easing measures to regain the economic growth momentum. Last month, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke underlined that the Fed remained prepared to take action as needed to protect the U.S. financial system in the event financial stresses escalate.

Investors were also hopeful of monetary easing measures from China as data released earlier this week by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed that the country's Purchasing Managers' Index declined to 50.2 in June from 50.4 in May.