HONG KONG: Most Asian stock markets advanced Tuesday, with Tokyo and Hong Kong indexes gaining almost 1 percent, as investors looked to earnings reports from major U.S. companies for insight about the economy. European markets fell.
Shares in resource companies were stronger after commodity prices rose, with oil nearing $74 a barrel, while the dollar ticked up against the yen. In China, stocks received a boost after the government's sovereign wealth fund bought shares in major banks.
As investors awaited third-quarter results in the U.S., where chipmaker Intel and consumer products company Johnson & Johnson are due to report Tuesday, more signs of economic improvement elsewhere in the world helped gird markets in Asia.
Royal Philips Electronics NV, Europe's biggest consumer electronics company, reported an unexpected surge in profits last quarter and said it was seeing improvements in earnings and sales.
Meanwhile, India's industrial output rose by its biggest amount in August in nearly two years, boosting optimism that Asia's third-biggest economy is rebounding. New Zealand reported stronger retails sale in August.
In Europe, benchmarks in Britain, Germany and France were lower by about 0.3 percent in early trade. Stock futures pointed to modest losses Tuesday on Wall Street. Dow futures were down 10, or 0.1 percent, at 9,809.
Gains across Asia marked a recovery after most markets slid on Monday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 60.17 points, or 0.6 percent, to 10,076.56, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 168.01 points, or 0.8 percent, to 21,467.36.
Shanghai's benchmark was up 1.4 percent, Australia's index gained 1 percent and Indonesia's market was higher by 0.3 percent.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.7 percent and Taiwan's market traded flat and Singapore's index shed 0.3 percent.
Also helping sentiment was a modest advance on Wall Street that pushed the Dow Jones index to a new trading high for 2009.
The Dow closed up 20.86, or 0.2 percent, at 9,885.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 4.70, or 0.4 percent, to 1,076.19. Both indexes had their highest close in a year.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 0.14, or 0.01 percent, to 2,139.14.
Oil prices rose in Asian trade, with benchmark crude for November delivery adding 50 cents to $73.77. The contract rose $1.50 overnight.
The dollar edged up to 90.02 from 89.80. The euro was lower at $1.4773 from $1.4778.