Asian stocks opened higher on Tuesday as investors took heart from strong rebounds on Wall Street on hopes that the newest coronavirus variant will prove less dangerous than previously feared. The Omicron variant has been detected across the globe but no deaths have yet been reported, with authorities worldwide racing to determine how contagious it is and how effective existing vaccines are. Top US pandemic adviser Anthony Fauci said over the weekend that while more information was needed, preliminary data on the variant’s severity was “a bit encouraging.”Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was sharply up at the open, while Shanghai was slightly higher. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 1.25 percent in early trade. “Japanese shares are seen gaining, as US stocks rallied, led by sectors which are sensitive to business cycles after strong concerns about the Omicron variant receded,” Okasan Online Securities said in a note. “The economic data looks very good,” Sylvia Jablonski, Defiance ETFs chief investment officer & co-founder, told Bloomberg Television, noting that even long-term worries about the US Federal Reserve ending its ultra-loose monetary policy were not weighing on sentiment for the time being.