HONG KONG (AFP) - Investors in Asia on Monday welcomed housing data out of the United States, which boosted confidence that a recovery in the worlds biggest economy was on track. However, concerns over Greeces debt crisis lingered despite the government formally asking for a multi-billion-dollar loan to help it avoid a default. Washington on Friday released estimates showing sales of newly constructed single-family homes jumped nearly 27 percent month on month in March, the biggest surge in 50 years, a dealer said. The figure was also up nearly 24 percent from March 2009, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development data. The news lifted Wall Street, which in turn gave impetus to Asian markets. Tokyo surged 2.30 percent, or 251.33 points, to 11,165.79 and Hong Kong ended 1.61 percent higher, adding 342.57 points, to 21,587.06 The positive economic data in the United States on the new home sales for March boosted optimism for economic recovery, Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with the Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy, told AFP. Sydney was closed for a public holiday. Japanese exporters were sent higher by a weaker yen as dealers moved into riskier assets due to strong stock prices. Toshiba surged 2.44 percent, Sony gained 1.54 percent and Canon was 3.53 percent higher. Toyota surged 3.36 percent on a report in the Nikkei business daily saying the company would see an annual profit instead of the loss previously forecast. The dollar was trading at 94.22 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, after rising to a three-week high of 94.37 earlier after 93.97 in New York late Friday. The European unit, which shot as high as 1.34 dollars briefly in New York on Friday as Greece officially requested a rescue package from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, fell back in Asia on Monday. It was quoted at 1.3376 dollars in Tokyo morning trade, down from $1.3384 in New York late Friday. Dealers remained wary of the euro after Athens requested a 45-billion-euro (60-billion-dollar) rescue from the EU and IMF. The country hopes to get the package in place before a May 19 deadline to pay bondholders more than eight billion euros, which if it misses could prove a crippling default. Greeces requesting aid is not a positive lead in itself. The point is whether the loan will be implemented smoothly or whether Greece can achieve fiscal rehabilitation, he said. Shanghai fell 0.47 percent, or 14.03 points, to 2,983.51 on continued concerns over the governments plans to rein in property prices. State media reported on Monday that China is likely to introduce a property tax on residential housing in the first half of the year as part of its attempts to curb real estate prices. In the United States lawmakers are on the verge of striking a deal on sweeping reforms of the financial regulatory system, which President Barack Obama has said is needed to avoid future economic meltdowns. The two sides were closer than weve ever been, said key Republican negotiator Senator Richard Shelby, although other Republicans have said they would work to defeat the bill. Oil was higher, with New Yorks main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, up 15 cents at 85.27 dollars a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for June delivery climbed 31 cents to 87.56 dollars. Gold closed at 1,155.00-1,156.00 US dollars an ounce in Hong Kong, up from Fridays close of 1,140.50-1,141.50 US dollars.