Australian shares rose 0.7 percent to a fresh 19-month high as investors snapped up exporters such as miners on encouraging signs from the world's top two economies.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 35 points to 4,740.7, according to the latest data, its highest since May 19 2011. It gained 1.2 percent on Wednesday, the biggest one-day percentage rise in five months.
Miners gained, with iron ore producer Fortescue Metals rising 2.4 percent, its best close in six months. BHP Billiton added 0.8 percent, while Rio Tinto notched up another 2.4 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent to 4,082.4 as trade resumed after holidays.
South Korean shares retreated from opening highs, as automakers slumped on concerns that the firming local currency will sap their profits.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.6 percent at 2,019.41 points, trimming Wednesday's gains, but still at 9-month highs.
Hyundai Motor fell 4.6 percent on fears that the firming Korean won would hurt price competitiveness and profits.