BEIJING (AP) -- Asian markets gained Wednesday after Wall Street stayed closed for a second day as a hurricane ravaged the East Coast of the United States.
Oil edged up in Asian trading but stayed below $86 a barrel as investors waited for U.S. employment data that are expected to show little improvement.
In Tokyo, the regional heavyweight, the benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 1.2 percent at 8,943.96. Hong Kong added 0.5 percent to 21,538.6 while South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent to 1,912.89.
Global markets stayed calm despite Hurricane Sandy's disruption of U.S. trading. Losses Monday in Europe were recovered Tuesday.
"While the economic and social cost of the Superstorm will be counted over coming days, markets in general appear to have brushed off their worst fears," said Credit Agricole CIB economist Dariusz Kowalczyk in a report.
The New York Stock Exchange's decision to close Tuesday marks the first time weather has stopped trading for two straight days since 1888. Experts expect storm damage of about $20 billion, about half of that insured.
The NYSE said it would reopen Wednesday using backup generators because power is out in much of downtown Manhattan.
Wall Street experts had feared another delay might lead to a dangerous backlog of customer orders to buy and sell stock. It could have dealt a blow to the image of U.S. markets, already hurt by investor distrust, sudden market swings and a series of trading glitches, including the botched IPO of Facebook.
Elsewhere in Asia, Sydney's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent to 4,517. Taiwan's Taiex was off 0.2 percent at 7,166.05 and Singapore declined 0.2 percent to 3,031.16. India's Sensex was flat at 18,249.1.
Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average declined 0.1 percent to 13,024 while the Standard & Poor's 500 rose by a similar margin to 1,408.50.
In the United States, investors were looking ahead to Friday's Labor Department release of jobs data that are expected to show little change in payrolls.
"The trend has gone absolutely nowhere since April. Markets expect no change this week," DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore said in a market commentary.
Japan's central bank lowered its economic outlook on Tuesday, saying it expected growth of 1.6 percent in the year ending in March, down from previous forecasts of 2 percent.
"The possibility is increasing that the economy is heading towards a technical recession," said DBS.
Japan's economy has been hobbled by weakness in its export sector, which has been hit hard by a slowdown in demand from recession-mired Europe and a strong yen, which makes Japanese products more expensive abroad.
Investors also were watching China, where a once-a-decade handover of power to younger Communist Party leaders is due to start at a party congress next week.
The euro was unchanged at $1.2962. The dollar fell slightly to 79.59 yen from 79.60 yen late Tuesday in New York.
Benchmark crude oil for December delivery rose 26 cents to $85.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 14 cents on Tuesday to $85.68.