Asian stock markets rose Wednesday, boosted by healthy earnings reports from U.S. companies.
Crude oil climbed above $98 while the dollar weakened slightly against the euro and yen.
Investors took heart after big U.S. companies such as Coca-Cola Co., IBM and Apple reported better quarterly earnings. Coca-Cola said income rose 18 percent on strong overseas sales while IBM beat analyst estimates. Apple said sales of iPads and iPods helped profit more than double.
News that U.S. politicians were making some headway on a plan to reduce the deficit and raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit to avoid a default also added some optimism. But investors were also keeping a wary eye on Europe’s debt crisis ahead of a meeting on Thursday of European Union leaders in Brussels to discuss a second bailout package for Greece.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average rose 1.3 percent to 10,022.60 and South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.1 percent to 2,153.19. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.6 percent to 4,539.00.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.2 percent to 21,945.72 and mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 2,800.82. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand also rose.
U.S. stocks had one of their best days of the year on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average had its biggest one-day gain this year, up 202.26 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 12,587.42. The broader S&P 500 index rose 21.29 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,326.73, its best day since March 3. The Nasdaq gained 61.41 points, or 2.2 percent, to 2,826.52.
In currencies, the dollar fell slightly to 79.14 yen from 79.24 yen late Tuesday in New York. The euro, meanwhile, crept up to $1.4158 from $1.4134.
Oil prices rose above $98 in Asia after a report showed U.S. crude supplies dropped more than expected, a sign demand may be improving.
Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 80 cents to $98.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude rose $1.57 to settle at $97.50 on Tuesday.