Nikkei closes at 6-year high on weak yen; Emerging markets in focus
Asian equity markets followed their Wall Street counterparts higher on Thursday, led by a near 2 percent rally in Japanese and Philippine shares.
(Read more: Has the dreaded taper already started?)
Nikkei rallies 1.8%
Japan's benchmark index closed at its highest level since December 2007 after dollar-yen rose above the 102 mark to a fresh six-month peak. That led to a rally in blue-chip exporters, with Hitachi up 4.5 percent while Panasonic and Sharp rose over 2 percent each.
Retail sales beat estimates to rise an annual 2.3 percent in October, sparking a 1 percent rally in retailers Aeon, Takashimaya and Seven & I.
Also lifting sentiment was weekly capital flows data that showed Japanese investors were buyers of foreign bonds for a seventh straight week, indicating that the Bank of Japan's stimulus program has been successful in driving liquidity-flooded firms to buy foreign assets.
(Read more: Deflation is scarier than inflation, investors say)
Shanghai up 0.8%
Mainland shares hit their highest level in over a month after industrial profits rose an annual 15.1 percent in October. Comments from central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan on Wednesday also underpinned gains after he said that China will speed up reforms in liberalizing interest rates and achieving capital account convertibility.
Commodity stocks were among the biggest gainers. Rare-Earth rallied 8.4 percent while Xiamen Tungsten and Jiangxi Copper rose over 4 percent each.
Coal producers rose on news that Beijing will tighten approval for new coal miners and eliminate small miners in a bid to curb competition in the industry. Yanzhou Coal climbed 3 percent and Xishan Coal ended nearly 2 percent higher.
Emerging markets higher
Thailand's SET Index finished lower by 1 percent after prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra survived a no-confidence vote in parliament. Meanwhile, the baht hit a more than eleven-week low against the greenback.
Indian shares rebounded nearly 1 percent after falling for two straight sessions.
(Read more: Are emerging markets squandering the taper delay?)
Australian shares pared gains after enjoying a firm bounce earlier in the session following robust business capital expenditure data. The 3.6 percent quarterly rise in capex helped the the Australian dollar move off the previous day's two-month low against the greenback.
Qantas Airways jumped nearly 4 percent after the Australian Financial Review reported that Treasurer Joe Hockey hinted at a lift in foreign ownership restrictions and support for the flagship carrier.
Construction firm Forge slumped 84 percent after announcing that it expects a $115 million profit writedown for the 2014 fiscal year.
Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory, added 0.8 percent after Murray Goulburn upped its takeover bid to A$9.50 per share, higher than Saputo's A$9.20 per share offer.
(Read more: Australia's cheese war – the battle for Warrnambool)
Kospi adds 0.8%
South Korea's benchmark index ended to its highest level in nearly a month after data showed the nation's current account surplus hit a record high in October as exports outperformed imports.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC