March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose, with the regionâs benchmark index set for its best month since 1998, as better- than-expected U.S. economic reports fueled optimism global growth is responding to government stimulus measures. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1 percent to 85.19 as of 2:31 p.m. in Tokyo. The index has rallied 21 percent from a five-year low on March 9 on speculation the worst of the financial crisis is over. A gain of 20 percent is the technical definition of a bull market. Sony Corp., which earns a quarter of its sales from the U.S., surged 7.2 percent in Tokyo after U.S. durable-goods orders rose the most in more than a year. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. soared 11 percent as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to extend a lockup on its shareholding. Elpida Memory Inc., Japanâs biggest maker of computer-memory chips, surged 18 percent on optimism share sales by two units will help the company avoid early repayment of loans. âThe stock market has entered a path to recovery,â said Yoshihiro Ito, senior strategist at Tokyo-based Okasan Asset Management Co., which oversees about $9.3 billion. âThe better- than-expected U.S. indicators signal the bottoming out of the global economy. Excessive fear of the financial crisis is easing thanks to governmentsâ policy implementations.â Japanâs Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.1 percent, while Hong Kongâs Hang Seng Index rose 2.6 percent. Australiaâs S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 1 percent as the central bank said the country wasnât at risk of a U.S.-style subprime crisis. All markets advanced except New Zealand. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aUkClFeaJODQ&refer=home Bull market ! LOL !