) -- Asian stock markets rode the wave of investor confidence that originated in the U.S. yesterday, posting gains and snapping a string of three straight days of losses Friday.
Major benchmarks from Tokyo to Sydney gained 1.5 percent while a few markets failed to hold their gains and ended slightly down. Oil, meanwhile, hovered near $80 a barrel on expectations the U.S. expansion signals improved demand for crude.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng led Asia's advance, rising by 487.88 points, or 2.3%, to 21,752.87. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 143.64, or 1.5%, to reach 10,034.74. China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.2%, Singapore's market was up 0.8% and Australia's benchmark gained 1.5%.
South Korea's Kospi, failing to receive an invitation to the good-times party, fell by 0.3% to finish at 1,580.69.
Meanwhile, Japan's central bank announced that it would stop buying corporate debt in December, ending some of the emergency credit measures implemented by that government early this year. That news came as the world's No. 2 economy reported a drop in unemployment for the second straight month in September.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.