Nikkei jumps 1.1%
Japan's Nikkei 225 index ended at a near one-week high, as corporate earnings that were mostly positive gave related stocks a leg-up.
Nintendo was among the biggest winners, soaring 8.3 percent after the consumer electronics giant reported a surprise first-quarter operating profit late Wednesday.
Strong earnings also elevated shares of Hitachi, Hino Motors and NTT DoCoMo, which rallied 6.5, 6.9 and 4.7 percent, respectively. On the other hand, carmaker Nissan trimmed gains to 0.3 percent, after elevating 3 percent earlier in the session on the back of a 58 percent surge in first-quarter operating profit.
Mazda Motor closed up 4.2 percent after the carmaker's first-quarter operating profit beat market forecasts.
By contrast, Panasonic tumbled nearly 6 percent after its operating profit for the quarter came in below market expectations, while Fujitsu closed down 3.6 percent due to the announcement of an operating loss.
Market heavyweight Fanuc remained in focus for sinking 11 percent on the back of a cut in full-year profit forecast on Wednesday. Shares of the industrial robot maker recovered slightly today, inching up 0.2 percent.
On other corporate news, Showa Shell Sekiyu climbed 6.2 percent following a Nikkei business daily report that Idemitsu Kosan will buy a 33 percent stake in the company. Shares of Idemitsu finished 4 percent lower.
Meanwhile, Japan's industrial output rose 0.8 percent in June, according to government data released before the market open, bouncing from the prior month's 2.1 percent drop.
ASX gains 0.8%
Improved risk appetite in the U.S. overnight and a modest recovery in commodity prices helped Australia's S&P ASX 200 index to advance on Thursday.
Gains in the resources sector propelled the bourse forward; Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton rose more than 2 percent each, while Fortescue Metals ended up 0.8 percent. Energy producers Santos and Oil Search tacked on 4.2 and 2.2 percent, respectively.
National Australia Bank continued to outperform its peers, with a rise of 1.1 percent following Wednesday's news that that it finished selling its U.S. unit.
On the domestic data front, export prices dropped 4.4 percent on-quarter in the April-June period, widening from a 0.8 percent slip in the preceding quarter. Import prices, meanwhile, rose 1.4 percent from the previous quarter, reversing a dip of 0.2 percent in the first three months of 2015, government statistics said.