Most of the Asian markets rose Thursday amid hopes that the U.S. and China would soon announce stimulus measures to tackle the weakening global economy.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.25 percent or 5.36 points to 2113.27. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.12 percent or 222.92 points to 20110.70. Among major losers were Sands Land Co Ltd (2.41 percent) and Esprit Holdings Ltd (2.17 percent).
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.51 percent or 46.38 points to 9178.12. Among major gainers were Kao Corp (3.35 percent), Fujikura Ltd (2.85 percent) and Advantest Corp (2.46 percent).
South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index rose 0.38 percent or 7.35 points to 1942.54. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd climbed 1.82 percent and shares of Hyundai Motor Co advanced 0.61 percent.
India's BSE Sensex climbed 0.52 percent or 92.62 points to 17939.48. Among major gainers were Manappuram Finance (4.61 percent), Wipro Ltd (3.30 percent) and Voltas Ltd (3.28 percent).
The market sentiment was positive as investors sensed that the central banks, especially the U.S. Federal Reserve, may announce monetary easing measures to strengthen the global economy. The minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting announced by the Fed Wednesday indicated an announcement of stimulus measures soon. The FOMC minutes noted that many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless the incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery.
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.
China's manufacturing activity fell in August compared to that in July, according to the preliminary HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) released Thursday. The preliminary reading of the PMI, a measure of the nationwide manufacturing activity, declined to 47.8 in August, a nine-month low, compared to 49.3 in July. Market players hope for an announcement of a monetary stimulus policy in the face of intensifying pressures on the Chinese economy.