Chinese shares led the region’s gains on Thursday as investors bet on more stimulus measures by the government after disappointing bank loan data.
Chinese banks had issued far less credit in December than expected despite a surprise interest rate cut by the central bank in November.
The Shanghai Composite closed up 3.5% at 3,336.45 – its biggest daily increase since 5 January.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index ended up 1% at 24,350.91.
Shares in Japan posted their biggest daily gain in four weeks as the yen fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 1.9% at 17,108.70. The dollar rose to 117.72 yen, recovering from 116.07 yen.
A weaker yen is good for big Japanese companies with overseas operations as it makes their goods more affordable for consumers.
The upward trend in Japan and China came despite a fall in US stocks on Wednesday as investors reacted to a fall in US retail sales and disappointing company results.
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