Asia stocks cheer global growth outlook but China underperforms
Asian stocks enjoyed a strong rebound on Wednesday following the previous day's sell-off as investors cheered an improving global economic outlook. However, Chinese shares underperformed on the back of some weak data.
In its newly-released Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank said that global growth is set to accelerate this year, five years after the financial crisis.
(Read more: Global economy at a turning point: World Bank)
Also underpinning sentiment was a strong lead from Wall Street, where indices chalked up their strongest performance of the new year thanks to upbeat December retail sales data, which helped offset concerns about the U.S. economy following Friday's weak jobs report.
Nikkei climbs 2.5%
Japan's benchmark Nikkei index posted its biggest one-day gain in four months as the yen resumed its downwards trend. The gains came one day after the index tumbled 3 percent to a one-month low on Tuesday.
The yen traded around the 104.38 handle against the greenback, retreating further from this week's one-month high of 102.85, which boosted blue-chip exporters across the board.
Japan Airlines rose 1.3 percent despite news that it temporarily grounded one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners after smoke was seeing coming from the main battery.
(Read more: Record tourism fuels a hotel boom in Japan)
Shanghai 0.2% lower
Mainland shares were unable to track Asia-wide gains after central bank data showed Chinese bank lending and money supply growth for December missed forecasts, casting further worries on liquidity levels.
Commodity stocks underperformed with Shandong Gold and Baotou Steel down nearly 3 percent due to weak metals prices, leading the benchmark Shanghai Composite index to hover near Monday's five-month low.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was little changed after chief executive CY Leung delivered his annual policy address.
Sydney up 0.5%
Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 recovered after suffering its biggest one-day decline in over three months on Tuesday.
Banks rose after Fitch Ratings said the outlook for the sector remained stable this year. All of the "Big Four" lenders rose between 0.5 to 0.6 percent each.
Support from miners also helped the benchmark index. Oz Minerals spiked 14 percent despite sharp declines in its 2013 copper and gold output while Fortescue Metals rallied over 3 percent after announcing it will speed up payments on its bonds in March.
(Read more: REITs in trouble?Maybe not for this country)
Kospi up 0.4%
India rallies 1.2%
Indian investors cheered data that showed December headline inflation at a five-month low of 6.1 percent.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC