RTTNews - The Asian markets ended sharply higher on Monday following Wall Street gains on Friday, after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good. Positive economic data on existing home sales and higher commodity prices lifted market sentiment.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended at 10,581. representing a gain of 342.85 points, or 3.4%, while the broader Topix index of all first section stocks advanced 22.93 points, or 2.40%, to 970.

Most of the stocks ended in positive territory following better-than-expected home sales data in the U.S and strong trading across other markets in the Asian region.

Automakers gained on prospects of recovery in its largest export market, the U.S. Toyota Motor Corp., advanced 2.26%, Honda Motor rose 3.21%, Isuzu Motors surged up 8.42% and Hino Motors gained 4.99%.

Among exporters, Canon Inc. soared 6.29% following the weakening of the local currency against the U.S. Greenback.

Trading stocks advanced following rise in commodity prices in the International market on Friday. Mitsubishi Corp. advanced 3.85%, Sumitomo Corp. gained 3.28%, Toyota Tsusho Corp. surged up 4.68% and Mitsui & Co rose 2.45%.

Energy stocks advanced following rise in crude oil prices in the international market. Nippon Oil Corp. gained 2.26%, Showa Shell advanced 2.80% and Nippon Mining holdings rose 2.51%. Inpex Corp. surged up 5.42%$.

Bank stocks also ended in positive territory on increasing prospects of global recovery. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group gained 1.70%, Mizuho Financial rose 2.23%, Resona Holdings added 1.18% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial advanced 1.74%.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index surged up 3.16% or 135.50 points to close at 4,426, while the All-Ordinaries Index ended at 4,434, representing a gain of 128.50 points, or 2.98%.

On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that New vehicle sales fell a seasonally adjusted 6.9% in July at 75,006 following a 5.2% percent monthly increase in June.

Positive closing on Wall Street on Friday following encouraging comments from Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke and better-than-expected increase in home sales data in the U.S lifted market sentiment.

James Hardie Industries, suppliers of sidings for the homes in the U.S., surged up 6.89% following better-than-expected home sales data in the U.S.

Metals and mining stocks gained following rise in commodity prices in the international market. BHP Billiton advanced 4.29%, Rio Tinto rose 4.74%, Fortescue Metals gained 3.15%, Gindalbie Metals added 2.50% and Oz Minerals increased 3.18%.

Oil stocks advanced following surge in crude oil prices on expectation of higher demand. Woodside Petroleum gained 4.09%, Santos advanced 4.76%, Oil Search gained 2.84% and Origin Energy surged up 5.12%.

Gold stocks also ended in the positive territory. Lihir Gold gained 1.63%, Newcrest Mining rose 2.77% and Sino Gold Mining advanced 1.54%.

Banks also ended higher on increasing optimism about recovery. ANZ Bank gained 4.10%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced 2.43%, National Australia Bank rose 3.89% and Westpac Banking climbed 4.35%.

WorleyParsons, the biggest engineering company in the country, declined 3.76%, after the company revealed that it expects lower profit for the full year due to delays in the projects.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index advanced 336.92 points, or 1.67% to close at 20,536, taking cues from Wall Street and other Asian markets on increasing confidence about global recovery prospects. Of the 42 components of the index, as many as 37 ended in positive territory.

In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI Index rose to a 13-month high of 1,612, representing a gain of 31.24 points or 1.98%, following gains in Wall Street on Friday and upbeat comments about the global economy by Bernanke. Technology, automotive and bank stocks led the gains as institutional investors evinced buying interest on increasing confidence of global recovery.

Strong overseas cues following surprisingly good U.S. home sales data and reassuring comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve helped the Indian market end higher, led by realty, consumer durable, FMCG, capital goods and metal stocks. The benchmark BSE Sensex finished at 15,629, up 388 points or 2.55% from its previous close, and the S&P CNX Nifty climbed 114 points or 2.52% to 4,643.

Among the other major markets in the region, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.10% or 32.66 points, to 2,993, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index rose 1.80% or 41.98 points to close at 2,376, Singapore's Strait Times Index gained 67.47 points, or 2.65% to close at 2,612 and Taiwan's Weighted Index surged up 183.45 points, or 2.76% to close at 6,838.

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