Asian markets rallied on a Christmas Eve Monday, lifted by technology and bank stocks as stronger-than-expected U.S. consumer spending calmed fears the world's top economy was heading into a recession, while the dollar traded near a six-week high against the yen.
Commodity and energy companies, such as Australia's Woodside Petroleum, were also firmer after copper, gold and oil prices rose. Investors also snapped up banks and technology shares, such as LG Electronics, heartened by a string of strong earnings reports from U.S. bellwethers, including results on Friday from the firm behind the BlackBerry.
Trading activity was slowing as investors took off for the Christmas holidays. The Australian and Hong Kong markets close early on Monday, while Japanese financial markets were shut for the Emperor's birthday, but reopen on Tuesday.