Technology companies drove up stocks in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan on Wednesday after bellwether Intel Corp's
Japan's Nikkei average rose 0.8 percent, Taiwan's TAIEX index <.TWII> was up 0.6 percent and the South Korean KOSPI <.KS11> was up 1.2 percent after the world's top chipmaker Intel's sales and margin forecasts trounced Wall Street expectations.
The MSCI index of Asian shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was up 0.9 percent with the technology index <.MIAPJIT00PUS> the biggest gainer rising 1.2 percent.
A host of Asian currencies made early gains after Singapore's central bank recentered its dollar policy band upwards and switched to a policy of modest and gradual appreciation for the currency.
The tightening fueled speculation that it heralds a revaluation of the Chinese yuan and most currencies in the region, except the yen, rose. The Malaysian ringgit, often used as a proxy for the yuan, jumped 0.6 percent on the news.
The growth-linked Australian dollar, rose 0.3 percent following the Singapore central bank's move which came after data showed the economy expanded a stronger-than-expected 13.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from a year earlier.
The yen, however, suffered losses as demand for riskier assets picked up on hopes of better earnings from the tech sector. The currency fell most against the Aussie dollar which rose 0.4 percent against the yen.
(Reporting by Umesh Desai; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)