BANGKOK - Asian stock markets are gaining as expectations remain high for strong European Central Bank action to stem the continent's chronic debt crisis.
Sentiment was also helped by U.S. second quarter growth not slowing as much as feared.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average was Monday up 0.7 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.5 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.9 per cent.
Markets are full of speculation that the ECB will buy government bonds to lower the borrowing costs of struggling countries such as Spain and Italy.
Investors hope such a move would prevent both those countries from being forced to seek bailouts that would be much more expensive than earlier rescues of Portugal, Greece and Ireland.
In energy trading, benchmark crude was up 58 cents at $90.71 a barrel.