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Asian stock markets rallied on Thursday on the back of strong U.S. data, with China's benchmark index leading the gains.
The Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs overnight after the Federal Reserve's Beige Book showed optimism about the economic outlook. Other strong data also boosted sentiment; the ISM services index leapt to a three-month high in November and the ADP report on private payrolls showed sector employment kept up its recent pace last month.
The European Central Bank holds its policy review later today, and while most economists don't expect any action, markets will be looking for indications that more stimulus could come early next year as the region's economic recovery falters.
"The prospect of a sovereign bond buying program is looking ever more likely. It probably won't begin tonight [Thursday] but the prospect will only increase sentiment towards European equities," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG.
Shanghai 4.3% higher
China's benchmark Shanghai Composite hit fresh three-year highs on expectations of further stimulus measures, closing in sight of the 3,000 level. Earlier this week, Reuters reported the People's Bank of China may announce a cut in reserve requirements for banks, citing analysts.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index jumped 1.6 percent, recovering all of the the previous session's losses.
Nikkei up 0.9%
ASX 0.9% higher
Banks led the gains, with nearly 2 percent higher and Australia New Zealand Banking up 1.4 percent.
Education provider Vocation slumped 61 percent after cutting its profit forecasts for the year to June by half.
Kospi up 0.8%
South Korean shares ended at their highest level since October 1 after data showed revised third-quarter gross domestic product rising 0.9 percent on quarter, in line with earlier estimates.
Indian shares hit a record high, tracking Asia-wide gains with cigarette maker ITC surging 5 percent on reports the government may ban sales of loose cigarettes.