Asian markets and the euro rose Monday on a report that the International Monetary Fund was considering a plan to hand Italy an $800 billion bailout.
Traders were also cheered by news that Germany and France had discussed plans to speed up integration in the eurozone, while data showed US retail sales hit a record for the Black Friday shopping weekend.
Tokyo rose 1.56 percent, or 127.48 points, to 8,287.49, led by gains in major exporters. Factory automation systems maker Fanuc gained 2.71 percent to 12,120 yen and conglomerate Kyocera was up 2.96 percent at 6,600 yen.
But embattled Olympus fell 10.56 percent to 990 yen, its first loss in five sessions.
"The stock looked overheated, after having risen 17 percent above its 25-day moving average, prompting investors to lock in gains," said an official at a Japanese brokerage.
Olympus is down about 60 percent from the level before the dismissal last month of chief executive Michael Woodford, who alleged overpayments in a series of acquisition deals in recent years.
Seoul closed 2.19 percent, or 38.88 points, higher at 1,815.28 and Sydney jumped 1.85 percent, or 73.9 points, to close at 4,058.2.
Hong Kong added 1.97 percent, or 348.33 points, to end at 18,037.81 and Shanghai climbed 0.12 percent, or 2.81 points, to 2,383.03.
The gains continued in the region despite the IMF on Monday denying it was holding talks with Rome.
Italy's La Stampa newspaper said on Sunday that the IMF could provide up to 600 billion euros to help Rome service its huge repayments.
The cash would give Prime Minister Mario Monti 12 to 18 months to implement urgent budget cuts and growth-boosting reforms "by removing the necessity of having to refinance the debt", the paper said, citing fund officials.
"One of the big concerns about Italy was all the refinancing it has to do and all the (bond) maturities it's got in the next 12 months and if the rumour is true, then obviously that is going to alleviate some of the stress around that," analyst Brad Gordon told Dow Jones Newswires.
The euro rose to $1.3316 in early European trade from $1.3240 late Friday in New York, while it was at 103.41 yen from 102.90 yen. The dollar edged down to 77.66 yen from 77.72 yen.
Traders ignored the Fund's announcement that it was not in talks to provide financial help to Italy.
"There are no discussions with the Italian authorities on a programme for IMF financing," said a one-sentence statement released by an IMF spokesperson, who was not identified.
Data from the United States showing Americans spent a record $52.4 billion over Thanksgiving weekend also added to the upbeat mood.
The National Retail Federation said Sunday that sales over the long holiday weekend were up 16 percent from last year, marking the biggest dollar amount ever spent over the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday period, the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, gained $1.52 to $98.29 per barrel in the afternoon.
Brent North Sea crude for January delivery rose $1.26 to $107.66.
Gold was trading at $1,712.10 an ounce by 0820 GMT, from $1,677.35 late Friday.
In other markets:
-- Taipei jumped 1.68 percent, or 114.26 points, to 6,898.78.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gained 2.79 percent at Tw$73.6 while leading IC design house MediaTek was 2.74 percent higher at Tw$281.0.
-- Manila fell 0.79 percent, or 33.71 points, to 4,227.88.
The market was weighed by data showing the economy had slowed for a third straight month as the US and European debt woes hurt the country's exports.
San Miguel fell 1.8 percent to 125.70 pesos, SM Investments slid 0.9 percent to 525 pesos and Bank of the Philippine Islands rose 0.5 percent to 52.55 pesos.
Wellington added 0.19 percent, or 6.17 points, to 3,218.44.
The gains were muted despite the regional surge and Saturday's election win for Prime Minister John Key.
Telecom gained 2.1 percent to NZ$1.975, Fletcher Building closed up 0.2 percent at NZ$5.87 and Contact Energy slipped 1.1 percent to NZ$5.25.
Kuala Lumpur was closed for a public holiday.