Japan's Nikkei 225 Average closed 1.8 percent higher, thanks to gains in high-tech firms such as Kyocera after a rise on Wall Street. Financials such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group also buoyed the market on hopes that steps to cope with the credit crunch will stabilize markets and avert a deep U.S. recession.
South Korea's KOSPI closed up 1.3 percent, led by financials, as receding worries over a credit crunch and a slide in commodities prices stoked investors' appetite for stocks, with foreigners fueling upward momentum. Financials including banks and brokerage shares rose across the board, with Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Financial both advancing.
Taiwan stocks rose 2.2 percent to a two-week closing high, led by Cathay Financial and other financial firms with better earnings prospects, one day before the island's presidential election.
Chinese stocks were mixed with the Shanghai Composite Index bouncing in and out of negative territory, hit by a selloff in heavily weighted PetroChina amid disappointment at the absence of fresh government efforts to support the market. PetroChina tumbled 4 percent. The pull-back of global oil prices may have been partly responsible, traders said, but many said bigger factors were the stock's valuations and the possibility of a slowdown in China's economy.