BHP Billiton Ltd. added 2.5 percent as optimism the world's largest economy is recovering spurred gains in prices of copper and other metals. Westpac Banking Corp. climbed 2.5 percent in Sydney after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sold $3 billion in debt at yields that suggest the U.S. mortgage-finance companies won't need a government bailout. Canon Inc. lost 4.8 percent, leading technology shares lower after rival Ricoh Co. announced its largest acquisition to expand in the U.S.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent to 123.09 as of 10:40 a.m. in Tokyo, extending yesterday's 0.4 percent advance. Measures tracking energy and mining companies posted the biggest gains among the gauge's 10 industry groups.
The regional index has dropped 22 percent this year as soaring inflation assailed global economies and the world's largest financial companies posted writedowns and credit losses of more than $500 billion.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed at 12,755.64, following a two-day, 1 percent retreat. Australia's S&P/ASX 500 Index jumped 1.4 percent, the region's biggest advance. About half of the region's stock indexes gained.
U.S. stocks rose yesterday after the Commerce Department said orders for goods mean to last several years advanced 1.3 percent in July. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted the biggest gains on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, rallying more than 15 percent each.