Asian markets rose on Thursday after the Dow on Wall Street hit a more than five-year high, while the head of the European Central Bank soothed concerns over the eurozone.
A strong bond sale in Italy also helped the euro despite uncertainty after weekend polls, while the yen resumed its downward trend after Japan's government nominated a fan of aggressive easing as the new central bank governor.
Tokyo climbed 2.71 per cent, or 305.39 points, to 11,559.36 as the yen sank on confirmation that Japan's government had put forward Haruhiko Kuroda to take over at the Bank of Japan.
Kuroda, the current Asian Development Bank chief, is known as an advocate of a looser monetary policy to overcome slow growth, in line with the views of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The US dollar bought 92.36 yen, compared with 92.16 yen in New York late Wednesday.
Sydney added 1.34 per cent, or 67.5 points, to end at 5,104.1 and Seoul rose 1.12 per cent, or 22.45 points, to 2,026.49.
Hong Kong shares advanced 1.96 per cent, or 443.26 points, to 23,020.27 and Shanghai jumped 2.26 per cent, or 52.37 points, to 2,365.59.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank would preserve the integrity of the eurozone, reasserting its commitment to buy up bonds of under-pressure countries.
"We are committed to preserving the integrity of our currency, in the interests of all people of the euro area," he said.
The announcement, which came after US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said its own huge easing would stay in place, came as welcome relief to markets after Italy's poll deadlock raised fears of a return to Europe's debt crisis.
On forex markets the euro rebounded after being hammered in the wake of Sunday's inconclusive poll, which saw voters shun austerity policies and leave the country with a hung parliament.
The euro sat at $US1.3142 ($A1.29) and 121.38 yen in Tokyo, from $US1.3136 and 121.07 yen -- and well up from the levels just above $US1.30 and 119 yen seen earlier in the week.
The single currency was also given support from news that Rome had successfully sold 6.5 billion euros of treasury bonds, albeit at a higher price, providing evidence for now that it can borrow cash to pay its own bills.
On Wall Street the Dow ended at its highest level since October 2007 after reports showed US pending home sales rebounded sharply in January to the highest level in almost three years.
In other positive news, durable goods orders in January -- excluding volatile aircraft -- surged 1.9 per cent, with gains particularly strong in capital goods, suggesting business confidence in the economy in upcoming months.
The Dow jumped 1.26 per cent, while the S&P 500 rose 1.27 per cent and the Nasdaq added 1.04 per cent.
Oil prices rose, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, gained 76 cents to $US93.52 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for April delivery fell nine cents to $US111.78.
Gold was at $US1591.00 at 1035 GMT (2135 AEDT) compared with $US1608.32 late Wednesday.
In other markets:
-- Wellington jumped 1.02 per cent, or 43.69 points, to 4320.01.
Air New Zealand added 4.1 per cent to NZ$1.40 and Auckland Airport was up 2.2 per cent at NZ$2.83 while Telecom rose 2.1 per cent to NZ$2.42.
-- Manila closed 1.59 per cent higher, adding 105.18 points to 6721.45.
SM Investments rose 3.37 per cent to 1044 pesos while Bloomberry Resorts gained 2.64 per cent to 14.78 pesos.
-- Singapore rose 0.27 per cent, or 8.83 points, to close at 3269.95.
United Overseas Bank fell 0.63 per cent to Sg$19.08 while Jardine Cycle and Carriage gained 0.86 per cent to Sg$51.60.
-- Bangkok added 1.55 per cent, or 23.53 points, to 1541.58.
-- Telecoms company True Corporation jumped 3.88 per cent to 6.70 baht, while supermarket operator Siam Makro rose 6.61 per cent to 484.00 baht.
-- Mumbai slid 1.52 per cent, or 290.87 points, to 18,861.54 points.
Top commercial bank State Bank of India fell 5.8 per cent to 2085.4 while mobile phone firm Reliance Communications fell 11.8 per cent to 61.1 rupees.
-- Jakarta ended up 1.68 per cent, or 79.37 points, at 4795.79.
Telekomunikasi Indonesia rose 5.91 per cent to 10,750 rupiah, miner Aneka Tambang climbed 0.78 per cent to 1290 rupiah, and paper maker Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia dropped 1.12 per cent to 2200 rupiah.
-- Kuala Lumpur gained 0.83 per cent, or 13.49 points, to close at 1624.14.
British American Tobacco soared 4.7 per cent to 61.00 ringgit while UMW Holdings rose 4.1 per cent to end at 12.80 ringgit. Bumi Armada slipped 0.3 per cent to 3.79 ringgit.
-- Taipei was closed for a public holiday.
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