Japan's markets posted a solid gain on Wednesday, rising to their highest level of 2009, buoyed by rising U.S. consumer confidence and better than expected U.S. home price data.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average was up 142.35 points or 1.36 percent at 19,639.71.
Among the Nikkei component stocks, there were 185 risers, 34 decliners and 6 unchanged.
The broader Topix Index was up 10.48 points or 1.09 percent at 975.59.
The exporters doing a major share of business with the United States were gainers. Among them, auto maker Toyota was up 60 yen or 1.48 percent, camera/copier maker Canon was up 20 yen or 0.54 percent, Nikon was up 79 yen or 5.06 percent and Sony shares rose 30 yen or 1.19 percent.
The major banks were modestly higher, with Mitsubishi UFJ up 3 yen or 0.51 percent, Mizuho Financial was up 1 yen or 0.44 percent, Sumitomo Mitsui was up 40 yen or 0.99 percent and Resona Holdings advanced 10 yen or 0.78 percent.
Overseas, U.S. markets wavered above and below the break-even line, with reports showing increases in factory orders and home sales unable to inspire traders. Nonetheless, the benchmark index finished at its high for the year after its seven straight advance. At the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 4.23 points or 0.04 percent at 9,543.52. the Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.20 points or 0.01 percent at 2.024.43 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.12 points or 0.12 percent at 1.028.12.
Most other major markets in the Asia/Pacific region closed higher on Wednesday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 21.08 points or 0.10 percent to 20,456.32.
In China, the Shanghai Composite index was up 51.79 points or 1.78 percent at 2,967.59.
The BSE 30 index in India advanced 81.38 points or 0.52 percent to 15,769.85.
Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was down 0.43 points or 0.02 percent at 2,380.09.
In South Korea, the KOSPI/Seoul Composite index advanced 12.74 points or 0.80 percent to 1,614.12.
The Taiwan Weighted Index was down 90.20 points or 1.32 percent at 6,719.21.
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