Asian Stocks End Mostly Higher, Hang Seng Leads

Most Asian stocks gained ground on Wednesday as markets took their cue from Wall Street's stronger finish overnight on bets the Federal Reserve will do more to help the struggling U.S. economy.

The region's gains were paced by a rally in the tech sector, following a 1.7% rise in the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor index. Samsung Electronics climbed 3.6%, Hynix Semiconductor added 2.3% while TSMC ended 0.8% higher.

Shares of Japan's Elpida surged 8.1%, after the PC memory maker announced it will start mass production of advanced DRAM chips in December.

Taiwan's AU Optronics advanced 5.1%, lifted by a report that a unit of the flat panel maker could win orders for Apple's upcoming iPhone 5. Rival Chimei Innolux rose 3.3%.

The resources sector enjoyed sharp gains, buoyed by record high gold and copper prices.

Hong Kong led the advance, with the Hang Seng index rising 1.2% to end at an 8-month high. Local property plays were in focus ahead of a land auction there. A strong debut by China's Boshiwa International also contributed to gains there.

Window-dressing before the end of Japan's fiscal first-half supported the Nikkei average, which closed up 0.7% at 9,559.3 points.

The quarterly BOJ Tankan survey showed an improvement in business confidence at big manufacturers. However, the report also signaled that Japanese companies are cautious about the outlook.

The Australian market slipped 0.5% to end at 4,644.9 points, weighed down by losses in financials.

South Korea's KOSPI finished 0.6% higher and Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.6%.

Finally, markets in Singapore and Malaysia both edged higher. The STI ended 0.3 higher and the KLCI inched up 0.2%.