Asian stock markets rose on Wednesday following another record high for the S&P 500 index overnight and the prospect of fresh monetary stimulus in Europe.
U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, resuming trade after Monday's holiday, thanks to better-than-expected economic reports. Orders for durable goods and consumer confidence rose in April, home prices moved higher in March and Markit's flash services purchasing manager's index for May continued to expand. That saw the S&P 500 close at a new record high for the second straight session while a rally in internet and social media stocks lifted the Nasdaq by 1 percent.
"Aside [U.S.] data, recent ECB rhetoric is sending strong signals that it may implement some form of easing next week at its monetary policy meeting. Thus prospects of further accommodative stance and good U.S. data provided a boost in sentiment, especially in stock markets," said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank.