HONG KONG- Asian markets rose on Tuesday, following a strong lead from Wall Street as investors await the release of key US data later in the week.
The dollar and euro edged up against the yen as a more positive mood settled across the region, while Shanghai benefited from bargain hunting after the previous day’s sell-off.
Tokyo jumped 1.48 percent, Hong Kong added 0.32 percent, Sydney was flat, Shanghai gained 0.10 percent and Seoul was 0.72 percent higher.
With few catalysts to drive business, attention has turned to the US economy figures, including gross domestic product growth on Friday. This week will also see the release of February consumer confidence, durable goods orders and initial jobless claims.
The results will be closely watched as they will give the clearest snapshot of economic health this year, with previous releases skewed by severe winter weather at the end of last year and the start of this one.
On Wall Street US shares pushed higher, with analysts saying investors were growing more confident about the US recovery and viewing recent weak figures as the result of the bad weather.
The broad-market S&P 500 rose 0.62 percent, just short of a record high, while the Dow added 0.64 percent and the Nasdaq was up 0.69 percent.
Global markets have in recent weeks clawed back some of the losses they suffered in January that were fuelled by the US Federal Reserve’s decision to cut its stimulus programme for a second straight month.
In currency trade the dollar was at 102.55 yen compared with 102.48 yen in New York late Monday.
The euro bought $1.3733 and 140.85 yen against $1.3734 and 140.76 yen.
There was little immediate reaction to news that Italy’s new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had won a confidence vote in the Senate following the ouster of Enrico Letta over his failures to boost the economy.
The new premier called for a “radical and immediate change” in recession-hit Italy as he outlined his new government’s reform agenda including overhauling the tax system, jobs market and public administration.
Oil prices dipped. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for April delivery, eased 20 cents to $102.62 in early Asian trading, while Brent North Sea crude for April was down nine cents to $110.55.
Gold fetched $1,333.42 an ounce at 0241 GMT, after striking $1,333.44 late Monday.