Asian markets ended mostly higher Thursday after investors welcomed benign U.S. consumer data which eased inflation fears. South Korea led the advanced finishing over 2 percent higher.
Data showing a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent rise in U.S. consumer prices in April helped soothe concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve may soon hike interest rates to curb rising prices in the world's biggest economy.
Improving earnings prospects also comforted markets. Japan's Sony surged 8.7 percent after it issued a surprisingly upbeat operating profitforecast despite the challenges posed by a slowing U.S. economy and a stronger yen.
Oil prices retreated from record levels, easing some of the inflation fears that have hit Asian stocks this month, and encouraging investors to sell their safe bond holdings to bet on riskier assets.
South Korea's KOSPI climbed 2.28 percent to hit a 5-½ month closing high fueled by record high closings by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics on their strong earnings outlook on the year. The index has now recouped most of the 19 percent fall which took it to its mid-March low and now stands just 0.6 percent off on the year. Today's gain is the biggest percentage gain in a single day since April 2.