Asian stock markets advanced Monday as investors shrugged off weaker-than-expected US economic growth and focused on a string of strong corporate earnings.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.44 percent or 298.90 points to 21,040.35 and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.44 percent or 8.74 points to 1,984.9 while Indian benchmarks BSE Sensex gained 0.85 percent.

The US Commerce Department announced Friday that the country's economy expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter. Gross Domestic Product declined to 2.2 percent in first quarter from 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and also fell short of economists' expectation of 2.5 percent.

However, the weak economic growth data did not have a lasting impact on the market as S&P 500 managed to close above 1,400. Better-than-expected quarterly earnings from major companies, including Inc and Expedia Inc, buoyed sentiment. surged 15.75 percent and Expedia climbed 23.54 percent and was also the top percentage gainer on the S&P 500.

The earnings season so far has been stronger than expected. With 287 S&P 500 companies reporting, about 73 percent had topped expectations, Reuters reported.

In Hong Kong, financial companies' shares led the rally in the wake of robust earnings. Agricultural Bank of China gained 1.66 percent and Bank of Communications surged 3.63 percent while Ping An Insurance Group rose 1.88 percent.

Exporter and technology companies gained in Korea. Hyundai Motor gained 3.07 percent and Kia Motors advanced 3.22 percent while Samsung Electronic gained 1.60 percent after displacing Nokia as the world's largest mobile phone maker by shipments.

Japanese Nikkei and Chinese Shanghai were closed for holiday.