Asian markets were trading mostly higher in early morning trade on Wednesday, with a regional benchmark index touching a two-week high, after companies reported higher earnings and manufacturing expansion across the world boosted confidence in a global economic recovery.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 1.1% at 138.99 as of 10:57 a.m. in Tokyo. With this, the gauge has erased its loss for this year and is heading for its highest close since Jan. 19.
About 10 times as many shares advanced as fell, and all 10 industry groups climbed.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index had risen by 14% last year after a 34% increase in 2009.
The Nikkei in Tokyo rose ~1.9% at 10,470. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up ~1.6% at 23,853. The Straits Times index in Singapore was up 0.6% at 3,204. The S&P ASX 200 index in Australia was up 0.8% at 4,791.
Stock markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore are shut from today for the Lunar New Year holiday, and exchanges in Taiwan and Vietnam have been closed all week.
Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker, advanced in Tokyo after saying that US sales rebounded.
Casio Computer Co., a Japanese maker of cameras and mobile phones, jumped after returning to profit.
BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, rose in Sydney as metal prices advanced.
Paladin Energy Ltd., a uranium miner, jumped after completing an acquisition.
American and Chinese manufacturing expanded and United Parcel Service (UPS) beat analysts’ earnings estimates.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index of the US rose to 60.8, beating the median economist projection of 58, figures from the Tempe, Arizona-based group showed yesterday.
A reading greater than 50 signal growth.