Asian markets were higher Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 1.9 per cent and South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.8 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite closed flat with thin trade ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year, despite a slower than CPI growth eased worries of rate increase.
Wall Street rose overnight as investors were expecting improvements in fourth-quarter earnings results. US industrial shares lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new 15-month highs after the upbeat Chinese economic data. The US dollar dropped 0.5 percent against a basket of currencies.
US stocks ended higher overnight on a bigger-than-expected rise in existing home sales for November. The used-home sales jumped 7.4 per cent, having increased more than double the economists' expectations.