Asian stocks rallied on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei leading gains as the Federal Reserve's steadfast support for an ultra-easy monetary policy and a successful bond auction in Italy lifted risk appetite in a volatile week for global markets.
The nomination of Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, as Japan's next central bank chief fueled a rally in Japanese shares.
The benchmark Nikkei soared 2.7 percent, taking it within sight of Monday's 53-month peak. Australian shares meanwhile gained more than 1 percent to a fresh four-and-a-half year, making the S&P ASX 200 Asia's best performing major index in February.
Seoul's benchmark Kospi rose to its highest level since January 3 and the Shanghai stock market jumped over 2 percent, although it was still headed for a loss of just over 1 percent for the month.
On Wednesday, Fed Chief Ben Bernanke reiterated the central bank's commitment to an easy monetary policy. This together with strong bids at a government bond auction in Italy helped boost investor confidence, which was hit earlier this week by fears of political deadlock following Italian elections.