Australian stocks gained smartly Wednesday on expectations of higher commodity prices with other Asia Pacific markets posting smaller gains or slim declines as attention remained on prospects to sustain record gains in the U.S.
The benchmark ASX 200 advanced 71.02 points, or 1.31 percent, to 5,484.35, with most sectors finishing higher. The heavily-weighted financial sector rose 1.10 percent, while the energy and materials sectors tacked on 1.25 and 1.98 percent respectively.
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at spreadbettor CMC Markets, said in a note that the "market appears to be in a capitulation phase for commodity bears."
"The consensus view is swinging towards commodity prices maintaining higher levels based on continued demand from China and improved U.S. demand," he added.
The Australian dollar jumped to a session high of $0.7444, climbing from levels near $0.7320 earlier in the week. At 4:19 p.m. HK/SIN, the Aussie traded at $0.7436.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished flat at 22,676.69, while Chinese mainland shares finished lower. The Shanghai composite fell 6.88 points, or 0.21 percent, to 3,241.46, while the Shenzhen composite slipped 8.37 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,129.51.
Japanese markets were closed Wednesday for the Labor Thanksgiving public holiday.
The session in Asia followed record high finishes on Tuesday in the U.S., and analysts expect the positive momentum in stocks to last in the near term.
"The current state of play is the bulls have got control here and that U.S. equity and many other developed markets are going higher, at least in the short-term," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at spreadbettor IG, said in a note on Wednesday.