Forex Pros - Asian stock markets were broadly higher on Wednesday, as rising commodity prices boosted raw material shares, while markets took in stride news that China's inflation rate rose slightly more-than-expected in April.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged 0.12% higher, South Korea's Kospi Composite jumped 1.25%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed 0.46%.
Earlier in the day, official data showed that China's annual rate of inflation in April rose 5.3%, down slightly from 5.4% in March, but still surpassing expectations for a 5.2% increase.
In Hong Kong, shares in oil producers led gains as oil prices advanced for the fourth consecutive day. Oil and gas giant PetroChina saw shares climb 2.35%, shares in CNOOC advanced 2.4%, while China Shenhua Energy saw shares add 1.1%.
Meanwhile, the Nikkei was boosted by gains in companies that provided positive outlooks for the current business year. Japan's largest telecom equipment manufacturer NEC rallied 4.7% after it said it expected a 15% increase in net income in the 2011 fiscal year.
Shares in financial service provider Orix jumped 4% after forecasting 2011 net income will rise 15% to JPY77.5 billion yen.
Shares in automakers performed strongly after Goldman Sachs upgraded the sector, saying parts supply problems are unlikely to keep weighing on auto shares.
"We maintain our outlook for a steady recovery in global production by Japanese automakers each quarter," the investment bank said in a report earlier in the day.
The outlook for European equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a modest gain of 0.05%, France's CAC 40 futures rose 0.1%, the FTSE 100 futures pointed to a rise of 0.08%, while Germany's DAX futures indicated an increase of 0.12%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish official data on its trade balance.
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