Asian shares climb on Wall Street optimism

Asian shares rose in early trading Tuesday after bullish earnings results sent Wall Street higher.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 1 percent to 10,443.11 as the Bank of Japan wrapped up a two-day policy board meeting. The central bank is expected to leave its key interest rate unchanged at effectively zero.

Exporters rose as Wall Street optimism offset a stronger yen. Sony Corp. jumped 2.8 percent, and Canon Inc. gained 1 percent.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.5 percent to 23,901.57, and South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.8 percent to 2,099.66. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6 percent at 4,815.20. Sentiment was bolstered by the country's latest inflation reading, which fell below expectations and reduced the chances of a rate hike by the Australian central bank.

Benchmarks in mainland China, Singapore and New Zealand also advanced.

In New York Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed within 20 points of 12,000 Monday, its highest point since June 2008.

Technology stocks rose after Intel Corp. increased its dividend and said it would buy back more of its stock. The company gained 2 percent.

The Dow gained 108.68 points, or 0.9 percent, to 11,980.52. The last time the average closed above 12,000 was June 19, 2008.

The broader Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 7.49, or 0.6 percent, to 1,290.84. The Nasdaq composite gained 28.01, or 1 percent, to 2,717.55.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 82.42 yen from 82.49 yen late Monday. The euro was trading at $1.3666 from $1.3638.

Benchmark crude for March delivery fell 38 cents to $87.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $1.24 to settle at $87.87 Monday after the Saudi oil minister hinted that his county may raise supplies.