Asian stocks ended mostly in the green Tuesday as investors, sought undervalued bank shares and exporters that could gain from a modestly stronger U.S. dollar. Japan, South Korea and Australia all closed stronger.
Unrelenting supply problems kept the heat under commodities prices, with oil above $96 a barrel and platinum, a precious metal also used in car exhaust systems, powering to a record high for the 14th day in a row.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday, but European traders put some faith back in banks after Britain's nationalization of Northern Rock. The DJ STOXX bank sector index rose 2.5 percent, helping FTSEurofirst 300 index to close up 2 percent.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Average closed higher as Itochu and other trading firms rose on strong metals prices, with buying of big-name exporters boosting the market overall amid thin trade. Banks climbed in the wake of their European peers, which rose on reports that Qatar has bought shares in Credit Suisse and plans to spend as much as $15 billion on European and U.S. bank stocks over the next year. Toshiba was slightly lower following a 6 percent gain in the previous session after a company source told Reuters it planned to abandon its HD DVD format. The company will announce plans to cease production and sales of HD DVD players later in the session, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.