17df39c760e3d28d47ad9afb6e4c0a48Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index trading near a seven-month high, after data showed better-than-forecast data on U.S. service industries and as investors await a European Central Bank policy decision.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.1 percent to 142.99 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo before markets open in China and Hong Kong. The gauge has extended gains this week after rising the most last month since September amid optimism Chinese authorities will add stimulus to prop up growth.

Japan��s Topix index gained 0.2 percent. Australia��s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 percent and New Zealand��s NZX 50 Index fell 0.1 percent. South Korea��s Kospi index lost 0.1 percent.

Futures on Hong Kong��s Hang Seng Index and contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index were little changed as of the last trading. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index fell 0.7 percent in New York yesterday, led by solar companies after a U.S. decision to impose preliminary duties on Chinese solar-equipment imports.

Source : Bloomberg