Asian markets were higher Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.9 per cent and South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.8 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite closed flat with thin trade ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year, despite a slower than CPI growth eased worries of rate increase.
Wall Street stocks posted gains on Wednesday. The market pared early losses in late trade as Federal Reserve kept its stimulative monetary policy unchanged and said it would hold interest rate at "exceptionally low" level for an extended period to support the economic recovery.
Wall Street rose overnight as investors were expecting improvements in fourth-quarter earnings results. US industrial shares lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new 15-month highs after the upbeat Chinese economic data. The US dollar dropped 0.5 percent against a basket of currencies.
US stocks ended higher overnight on a bigger-than-expected rise in existing home sales for November. The used-home sales jumped 7.4 per cent, having increased more than double the economists' expectations.
Asian markets received a strong lead from Wall Street and mostly opened higher this morning. But gains were trimmed in Tokyo share market after a stronger yen weighed on Japanese exporters. Meanwhile, concerns over companies' massive capital raising plans continue to dent the local sentiment.
Seoul shares rose on Wednesday after a holiday weekend, led by chip makers after German rival Qimonda filed for insolvency. The market is also lifted by overnight gains on Wall Street and big gains in Tokyo shares Tuesday. Japanese stocks gained nearly 5% yesterday as exporters benefited from a weakened yen. Markets that remained closed for the Lunar New Year included Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan.