Investors in Asian markets were poised for gains on Wednesday after Wall Street indexes rose on the back of US Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's push for a sizable fiscal relief package in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We've sort of seen a positivity evident last night in Wall Street already in Asian trade on Tuesday," said Kyle Rodda, a markets analyst at IG Markets, who noted Asian markets are following US stimulus developments more than anything else.
"The gains are modest," he added.
Australia's ASX 200 rose more than 0.5% in early trade Wednesday.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.03%.
Japan's Nikkei 225 futures added 0.07%, but Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures lost 0.29%.
At Yellen's confirmation hearing on Tuesday, she said the benefits of a big stimulus package are greater than the expenses of a higher debt burden.
President-elect Joe Biden, who will be sworn into office on Wednesday, last week laid out a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal to boost the economy and speed up the distribution of vaccines.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.38%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.81%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.53%.
The dollar dropped for a second straight session on Tuesday with investors turning their focus to riskier assets.
US treasuries fell after Yellen said during her hearing that 2017 tax cuts for corporations should be rolled back.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday on hopes that Biden's proposed stimulus will lift economic output, while gold also firmed.