Most Asian stock markets ended higher on Thursday, helped by upbeat U.S. jobs data and an easing of oil prices after reports of a possible peace deal in Libya.
Tokyo shares advanced, led by gains from exporters amid optimism over U.S economic recovery. Japanese benchmark index Nikkei gained 0.89 percent or 93.64 points to 10,586.02. Hitachi advanced 1.01 percent to 497 yen and Honda Motor gained 0.85 percent to 3,550 yen, while Advantest gained 1.51 percent to 1,673 yen after JP Morgan raised its recommendation on the semiconductor industry.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 73.76 points or 0.32 percent to 23,122.42, led by gains from financial sector stocks. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gained 1 percent as the bank raised its first quarter outlook. Cathay Pacific Airways gained 2.24 percent as oil prices eased.
Chinese Shanghai composite declined 0.34 percent or 9.98 points to 2,903.83. Air China Ltd. declined 1.798 percent and China Southern Airlines fell 2.07 percent, while China Merchants Bank Co. surged 4.15 percent.
South Korean shares surged, following better-than-expected industrial production data. Benchmark Seoul composite gained 42.42 points or 2.20 percent to 1,970.66. Kia Motors surged 6.63 percent and Hyundai Motor gained 2.79 percent, while Hynix Semiconductor advanced 3.26 percent after JP Morgan raised its recommendation on the semiconductor industry.