Asian shares return to positive

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Asian stock markets opened in positive territory on Wednesday, following markets in the US which ended their trading day higher.

Strong results from major US firms together with rising shares for Apple helped boost investor sentiment on Tuesday.

The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose as much as 2% in morning trade on Wednesday.

The positive streak comes after weeks of volatility on global markets.

In Australia, the ASX All Ordinaries was up by more than 0.8% before midday.

Investors were pleased to hear that BHP Billiton, the world’s third-largest supplier of iron ore, said it was on track to deliver production growth of 16% over a two year period, to mid-2015.

BHP’s chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said the firm’s “relentless focus on productivity” continued to yield strong results.

Shares in the firm rose by more more than 1% in morning trade after it also reported a 17% percent increase in iron ore production in the three months to September, compared to the previous year.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was also up by 0.8% in morning trade, while in South Korea, the Kospi index was up by more than 0.5%.

Financial markets in Malaysia and Singapore are closed on Wednesday for the Hindu holiday, Diwali.

Elsewhere, stocks across Europe rose on Tuesday after a report said the European Central Bank was considering new moves to boost the eurozone’s economy.

Reuters reported that the ECB was thinking of buying corporate bonds in the secondary market, a move which is seen as helping banks.