Asian markets rose Thursday as investors were encouraged by healthy earnings reports from the U.S. companies which alleviated concerns of faltering economic conditions.

The Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 1.09 percent or 23.67 points to 2192.77. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 1.74 percent or 334.29 points to 19574.17. Major gainers were PetroChina Co Ltd (2.84 percent) and CNOOC Ltd (2.60 percent).

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.75 percent or 65.66 points to 8792.40. Among major gainers were Advantest Corp (5.40 percent), Pioneer Corp (3.90 percent) and Kobe Steel Ltd (3.75 percent).

South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index climbed 1.84 percent or 33.01 points to 1827.92. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd surged 3.81 percent and shares of Hyundai Motor Co advanced 3.22 percent.

India's BSE Sensex rose 0.70 percent or 120.62 points to 17305.63. Major gainers were Axis Bank Ltd (1.78 percent), Ranbaxy Labs (1.51 percent) and State Bank of India (1.33 percent).

Market sentiment turned positive as companies like Intel and Honeywell reported better than expected second quarter earnings. With earnings of more and more companies beating analysts' expectations, investor woes over the faltering global economy affecting business are somewhat allayed.

The U.S. Census Bureau's housing starts, measuring the change in the annualized number of residential buildings that began construction, was reported Wednesday. Investors were encouraged to know that it rose to 760,000 in June, up from 708,000 in May. Market players felt that the improvement in housing starts in June was evidence that the housing recovery is holding up in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continuing with his semi-annual report delivery to the Congress, Wednesday, repeated that the Fed is prepared to take further action as appropriate. Market participants sense that the Fed will be ready to act if the situation were to deteriorate, although it has not yet decided to do so.