Asian markets rebounded on Thursday as dealers picked up undervalued stocks following a recent sell-off while the first gain for the Dow in three days also provided some support.
The euro, which has been under pressure over concerns about European debt problems, was also given a lift by comments from a Chinese central bank scholar that Beijing should buy more eurozone bonds.
Tokyo finished 1.48 percent, or 139.17 points, higher at 9,562.05, Sydney snapped a four-day losing streak to end 1.65 percent, or 75.5 points, higher at 4,660.2 and Seoul jumped 2.75 percent, or 56.04 points, to 2,091.91.
Hong Kong rose 0.67 percent, or 153.51 points, to 22,900.79 but Shanghai gave up earlier gains to end 0.19 percent, or 5.21 points, off at 2,736.53.
The rallies followed a Dow gain of 0.31 percent on Wednesday.
Resource firms were among those who came out on top as commodity prices began to rise, with oil rallying after Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley raised their 2012 forecasts for the cost of Brent to $130 a barrel.
The rises also came despite a surprising 600,000-barrel increase in US crude stockpiles in the week to May 20, confounding analyst expectations of a fall.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, gained 23 cents to $101.55 a barrel, building on gains in New York, while Brent North Sea crude for the same month was down seven cents to $114.86 in the afternoon.
Crude was also given a fillip by gains in equity markets, which indicated improving sentiment.
The gains came after big losses in recent sessions caused by worries over the European debt crisis and data from China suggesting the world's number two economy was beginning to ease.
In the eurozone, Greek debt continues to unsettle after sharp exchanges between the European Central Bank, which opposes any restructuring of its obligations, and politicians hoping to find some way out of an impasse.
The downgrading of Athens' debt rating by Fitch on Friday, the downgrading of Italy's outlook by Standard & Poor's and rising concern over Spain's economy have also brought the European crisis back into focus.
However, Wang Yong, a professor at the People's Bank of China's training institute, said Beijing should expand purchases of eurozone sovereign debt.
He also said China should increase direct investment into Europe. Such moves would help alleviate the global crisis, he added.
The comments sent the euro up to $1.4159 in afternoon Asian trade from $1.4083 late Wednesday in New York, while it gained to 115.83 yen from 115.40 yen.
The dollar eased to 81.80 yen from 81.89 yen in New York.
Shanghai fell for a sixth straight day because of economic worries that were magnified this week by data showing a preliminary HSBC Purchasing Managers Index had slipped to a 10-month low, pointing to a slowdown in manufacturing.
In Tokyo, office equipment and camera maker Ricoh jumped 4.12 percent on a report in the Nikkei business daily that it was planning to sack 10,000 people worldwide as it tries to streamline.
Investors welcomed Canon's decision to buy back up to 1.2 percent of its own shares for as much as 50 billion yen ($610 million). The announcement, which came after the market closed Wednesday, lifted the firm's shares 5.76 percent to 3,850.
After the markets closed, Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony reported its third annual loss in a row, but forecast a return to the black this year despite a huge online attack.
Sony confirmed that it suffered a net loss of 259.6 billion yen ($3.2 billion) in the year to March but said it expected a net profit of 80 billion yen for the fiscal year that ends in March 2012.
The electronics giant closed flat before the announcement.
Gold closed in Hong Kong at $1,525.00-$1,526.00 per ounce, up from Wednesday's close of $1,523.00-$1,524.00.
In other markets:
-- Taipei gained 0.70 percent, or 61.31 points, to 8,788.40.
Leading smartphone maker HTC gained 3.02 percent at Tw$1,195 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.4 percent lower at Tw$74.2.
-- Wellington fell 0.75 percent, or 26.78 points, to 3,527.59.
Telecom fell 2.1 percent to NZ$2.43 amid profit taking after recent gains, while Fletcher Building slipped 1.3 percent to NZ$8.81 and Air New Zealand lost 0.9 percent to NZ1.10.
-- Manila closed 0.94 percent, or 39.58 points, higher at 4,230.56.
Alliance Global Group rose 0.39 percent to 10.28 pesos and Aboitiz Power added 0.4 percent to 28.10 pesos while Metropolitan Bank and Trust edged down 0.07 percent to 70 pesos.
-- Kuala Lumpur ended up 0.45 percent, or 7.0 points, to close at 1,540.94.
Mobile phone operator Maxis climbed 0.7 percent to 5.45 as property developer IJM Land rose 0.4 percent at 2.80 while airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings slid 1.1 percent to 6.51 ringgit.
-- Singapore's Straits Times Index closed up 5.05 points, or 0.16 percent, to 3,123.7.
DBS Bank lost 0.14 percent to 14.68 while Singapore Airlines fell 0.56 percent to 14.12.
-- Jakarta gained 34.65 points, or 0.92 percent, to 3,814.82.
Bank Danamon rose 1.7 percent to Rp 5,950, Bank Rakyat jumped 1.6 percent to Rp 6,250, while carmaker Astra soared 2.1 percent to Rp 59,300.
Coal producer Bumi Resources fell 1.5 percent to Rp 3,350.
-- Bangkok edged up 0.94 percent or 9.91 points to 1,065.45.
Banpu gained 6.00 baht to 748.00, while PTT added 4.00 baht to 352.00.
-- Mumbai closed up 197.4 points, or 1.11 percent, at 18,044.64.
Hero Honda was among the top gainers after announcing it was to more than double production capacity, adding 71.5 rupees or 3.97 percent to 1,873.
Tata Motors gained 27.75 rupees or 2.45 percent to 1,161.25 on expectations of strong earnings while Tata Steel closed at 572.6, up 11.1 rupees or 1.98 per cent after announcing a swing into a full-year net profit on Tuesday.
Software outsourcer Infosys fell again, losing 15.7 rupees or 0.56 percent to 2,779.3, following news of a probe by US authorities into allegations of visa irregularities.