Asian markets rose Thursday amid hopes that central banks all over the world would soon announce stimulus measures to tackle the weakening global economy.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.28 percent or 23.48 points to 8389.38. Among major gainers were Canon Inc (9.19 percent), Kao Corp (3.15 percent) and Sharp Corp (2.69 percent).

The Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.15 percent or 3.19 points to 2139.34. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.18 percent or 33.93 points to 18911.30. Among major gainers were Citic Pacific Ltd (1.32 percent) and China Resources Land Ltd (2.58 percent).

South Korea's KOSPI Composite Index was up 0.37 percent or 6.49 points to 1775.80. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 0.78 percent, and those of Hyundai Motor Co advanced 0.23 percent.

India's BSE Sensex marginally rose 0.06 percent or 10.70 points to 16856.75. Major gainers were Sesa Goa (1.12 percent), ICICI Bank (0.63 percent) and HDFC Bank (0.43 percent).

Market sentiment was positive as investors sensed that the central banks, especially the U.S. Federal Reserve, could announce monetary easing measures to strengthen the global economy.

According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday, the new home sales, measuring the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month, dropped in June to 350,000 down from 382,000 in May. Market players hope for a Fed announcement of a monetary stimulus policy in the face of intensifying pressures on the economy.

Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke underlined that the Fed remained prepared to take action as needed to protect the U.S. economy if financial stresses were to escalate.

Market players are also hoping for an announcement of the stimulus measures by China as investors feel that bold measures, including easing in the monetary policy, will give a much-needed thrust to boost liquidity in the Chinese financial system.

Investor sentiment could turn fragile as they continue to worry about the uncertainties in the euro zone economy. Market participants sense that the euro zone crisis is also taking its toll on the rest of the world with activity slowing down in all major economies in the second quarter, including the U.S., China and Japan.