Hong Kong stocks closed at a 28-month high, and Japanese shares rose for the first time in four sessions following upbeat machinery-orders data.
European shares also rallied Wednesday, with investors cheering the prospects of another bout of quantitative easing in the U.S, while a larger-than-expected rebound in euro-zone industrial production helped boost sentiment.
The Hang Seng Index led a broad Asian advance, gaining 1.5% to 23457.69. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average of 225 companies edged up 0.2% to 9403.51. The 30-stock Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index gained 2.4% to 20687.88, its highest close since Jan. 14, 2008.
In HONG KONG , blue chips rose after property firms rebounded from losses as investors discounted new government measures to rein in home prices.
Chinese life insurer Ping An jumped 7%, airline Cathay Pacific rose 6.5%, and oil company Sinopec gained 4.8%.
Standard Chartered /zigman2/quotes/202369078/delayed HK:2888 -1.15% fell 1.3% after saying it plans a rights issue to boost its capital position.
In TOKYO , sentiment got a lift from a surprise 10.1% rise in August core machinery orders. Among machinery stocks, Fanuc climbed 2.3%.
Chip-related stocks were generally higher following a solid earnings report from Intel on Tuesday. Tokyo Electron added 1.3%.
On the downside, Takashimaya lost 2.9% despite strong March-August earnings, as investors became skeptical that the good figures were due to one-time items.
In MUMBAI , software companies led the way on expectations of strong quarterly earnings. Infosys /zigman2/quotes/208929210/composite INFY -1.66% gained 2.5%, Tata Consultancy Services rose 4.6% and Wipro /zigman2/quotes/206450547/composite WIT -1.18% ended up 4.5%.
In SYDNEY , Fortescue Metals jumped 5% after the company issued a lukewarm denial of an Australian Financial Review report that the company is considering borrowing as much as US$6 billion to fund a proposed expansion. The company said it would issue more updates "if and when any formal decisions are made."
Energy Resources of Australia was down 6.4% after it downgraded its 2010 uranium-oxide output projections for the second time this year. The company said the shortfall will hurt 2010 earnings, and it will have to cover some supply requirements with purchases.
Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 index added 1.4% to 266.25. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed up 1.5% at 5747.35, Germany's DAX added 2.1% to 6434.52, and France's CAC-40 closed up 2.1% at 3828.34.
In LONDON , natural-resources shares gained after China's trade figures showed a surge in commodity imports. Vedanta Resources climbed 5.9%, Anglo American jumped 5.4% and Xstrata added 4.4%.
Miner Fresnillo /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -2.04% rose 3.3% after the firm reported an increase in third-quarter silver production and gave a bullish outlook.
In the energy sector, Petrofac /zigman2/quotes/202340229/delayed UK:PFC -0.87% rallied 4.2% after an upgrade to "overweight" from "equalweight" at Morgan Stanley, which said the company's order backlog looked set to accelerate.
BP /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP -1.73% gained 1.8%, boosted in part by the rise in oil prices.
Chip-related companies also pushed up regional indexes after a surge in profits for Intel.
In AMSTERDAM , ASML Holdings rose 5%. The firm said third-quarter net income climbed to €269 million from €20 million a year earlier, as sales doubled. The lithography-systems maker also said it sees strong and continuous structural demand for its products.