Investing.com - Asian stocks rose on Thursday on hopes U.S. policymakers will work to steer the economy away from a fast-approaching fiscal cliff.
During Asian trading on Wednesday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.17%, Australia's S&P/ASX200 was up 0.49%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index was up 0.59%.
Stock prices rose across Asia on Thursday after U.S. President Barack Obama sought to reassure the world that both Republicans and Democrats will find common ground on necessary tax and spending reforms needed to avoid the fiscal cliff, a combo of tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of this year.
President Obama said earlier that “something will be done” to steer the country away from the fiscal cliff, which boosted appetite for equities on hopes the U.S., a key export market, will avoid recession.
Expectations that the Bank of Japan will further stimulate the economy further boosted gains, though soft housing data dampened the rally slightly.
Earlier in the U.S., the Commerce Department reported earlier that new home sales fell by 0.3% to a seasonally adjusted 368,000 units in October, confounding expectations for an increase to 390,000, which suppressed appetite for risk somewhat.
New home sales for September were revised down to 369,000 units from a previously reported 389,000.
In Hong Kong, top gainers included Wharf Holdings, up 2.40%, China Overseas, up 2.02%, and Bankcomm, up 2.01%.
In Australia, top gainers included Goodman Fielder, up 6.25%, Ten Network Holdings, up 6.06%, and Coalspur Mines, up 5.92%.
European stock futures indicated a higher opening.
France's CAC 40 futures pointed to a gain of 0.07%, while Germany's DAX 30 futures pointed to a gain of 0.11%. Meanwhile in the U.K., FTSE 100 futures were up 0.09%.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.05%, while the S&P 500 futures were up 0.05%.