Investing.com - Stocks in Asia rose on Wedesday, carrying over from Wall Street as tensions eased between Russia and the Ukraine.
Japan''s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.5% in Tokyo, while Australia''s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6% on better than expected fourth quarter GDP data and South Korea''s Kospi gained 1%.
Australia Q4 GDP data showed a gain of 0.8%, above expectations for a gain of 0.7% quarter-on-quarter and also rose 2.8% at an annual pace, compared to expectations of 2.5% year-on-year.
On Tuesday Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a halt to military exercises eased fears over an immediate showdown between the two countries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 1.4% overnight, its biggest one-day point and percentage gain since the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans to cut back its stimulus measures in December.
The S&P 500 index climbed 1.5%. The benchmark hit an intraday record high of 1876.23 and topped its prior closing high of 1859.45 reached last Friday.
Attention in Asia now turns to China as the country commences its National People''s Congress meeting, a yearly gathering of top government officials. The country''s Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for more flexibility in the yuan trading band and that the country was sticking to a goal to reach 7.5% GDP growth this year.
Investors are also looking for direction on a looming debt crisis in the country as credit tightens.
Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co, which makes solar cells and panels, announced late Tuesday that it won''t be able to repay about 89.8 million yuan ($14.6 million) interest on a 1 billion yuan bond issued two years ago. Its stock has been suspended from trade.
Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index lagged behind the regional gains Wednesday, rising 0.3%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks mainland companies listed in the city, traded down 0.3%. Shanghai''s Composite index was 0.4% lower.