Japanese stocks got a lift Thursday from the firmer close on Wall Street .
The Nikkei average rose for a fourth session to a 9-1/2-month high as solid earnings and global merger activity encouraged foreign investors to keep snapping up outperforming Japanese shares.
Inpex Corp and other oil-related stocks gained on rise in the oil price, while Honda Motor rose on a newspaper report the automaker was likely to buyback its own shares.
The Nikkei closed up 0.3 percent, or 30.98 points to 10,836.64.
The average has gained some 6 percent this year, making it the best-performing Asian market so far in 2011, while Asian stocks outside Japan are down around 2 percent on the year to date, largely due to inflation worries and anticipated further interest rate hikes in countries including China.
Seoul Shares Drop
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.6 percent.
Banking issues underperformed after South Korea unveiled measures to provide cash support to troubled savings banks, and imposed a six-month suspension of operations on two banks hit by liquidity shortages.Page 1 of 5 | Next Page