An investor checks stock information with a computer at a brokerage house in Hefei
An investor checks stock information with a computer at a brokerage house in Hefei, Anhui province Feb. 20, 2012. REUTERS

Most of the Asian markets rose Thursday as investor confidence was lifted by hopes that China would soon announce monetary easing measures to rejuvenate the economic growth momentum.

Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.29 percent or 5.83 points to 2010.01. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.45 percent or 91.81 points to 20619.54. Among the major gainers were CNOOC Ltd (1.16 percent) and COSCO Pacific Ltd (1.13 percent).

South Korea’s KOSPI Composite Index gained 0.13 percent or 2.55 points to 1982.99. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 0.83 percent and those of LG Electronics Inc advanced 0.43 percent.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was marginally down 0.03 percent or 3.04 points to 8903.66. Among major losers were Tokyu Land Corp (3.23 percent), Ebara Corp (2.92 percent) and Sharp Corp (2.42 percent).

India's BSE Sensex gained 0.30 percent or 56.41 points to 18688.58. Among the major gainers were Reliance Capital Ltd (1.41 percent), Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (1.23 percent) and Syndicate Bank (0.66 percent).

The net income of Chinese industrial companies continued to fall in August, indicating that stimulus measures are urgently needed to reinvigorate the country's weakening economy. According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Thursday, profits made by Chinese industrial companies slumped 6.2 percent to 381.2 billion yuan ($60.4 billion) in August compared to that in the previous year.

There have been fears of a hard landing after data showed in July that China's economy slowed down to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, down from 8.1 percent in the first quarter. Beijing is targeting a growth rate of 7.5 percent this year. In 2011 and 2010, the economy grew 9.2 percent and 10.4 percent respectively.

Earlier this month, China reported a trade surplus of $26.66 billion in August amid the slower-than-expected growth in exports and imports, raising the concern that the world's second largest economy wasn't doing enough to stimulate the economy and avert a slowdown.