HONG KONG – Asian stocks rose Thursday after Wall Street posted another gain and China slashed interest rates by the most in a decade to boost economic growth. Indian markets were closed after deadly attacks in the country's financial capital.
Investors cheered China's 1.08 percentage-point rate cut to spur private borrowing and support a multibillion-dollar stimulus package to keep the country's economy — a key engine of growth across Asia — from slowing too fast.
In the U.S., there were signs the markets were stabilizing and investor confidence was returning as the Dow Jones industrials and Standard & Poor's 500 index posted their first four-day advance since last spring. The upswing came after President-elect Barack Obama pledged to have an economic plan to deal with the crisis on his first day in office.
"Overall investors are still cautious and waiting to see how things turn out, but there is definitely relief that the financial system is going to be supported by governments around the world," said D. Gorton, research analyst at Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added almost 2 percent to 8,373.39 points, while Hong Kong Kong's Hang Seng benchmark rose 1.6 percent to 13,583.72.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite index rose 1.1 percent to 1,917.86, after gaining as much as 3.7 percent. Markets in South Korea, Singapore and Australia also traded higher.
In India, markets were closed after coordinated attacks by teams of gunmen across Mumbai, the country's financial capital, killed at least 101 people. It was unclear when trading would resume.
Thai shares traded lower after authorities shut down Bangkok's second airport Thursday after it was overrun by anti-government protesters, completely cutting off the capital from air traffic as the country's political crisis deepened. The benchmark Stock Exchange of Thailand Index fell about 0.7 percent.
Across the region, commodity stocks soared on hopes that China's rate cut — the fourth in three months — would underpin demand for metal, oil and other resources. Australian mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd. gained 5.7 percent.
Overnight in New York, the Dow industrials rose 247.14, or 2.91 percent, 8,726.61. The Dow has not had four straight gains since April 15-18. The S&P 500 advanced 30.29, or 3.53 percent, to 887.68. It last had a four-day winning streak May 27-30.
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.
Oil prices weakened as dismal U.S. economic data and rising crude inventories outweighed the possibility of production cuts by OPEC and Russia. The January contract was down $1.18 to $53.26 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange by midday in Singapore.
In currencies, the dollar fell to 95.10 yen from 95.54 late Wednesday. The euro was stronger at $1.2911 from $1.2889.