Asian equities kicked off the fourth quarter on a positive note on Thursday, as an overnight rally on Wall Street spurred risk appetite amid the release of key economic data from Asia's top two economies.
The large manufacturers' index for the September quarter stood at positive 12, compared with expectations in a Reuters poll for a positive 13. In the previous three months, the key large manufacturers' index came in at 15 – its highest level since March 2014.
For the December figures, the index was forecast at positive 10, in line with a Reuters poll.
"The BOJ [should be] pretty happy with these results. The deterioration in business sentiment was fully expected and it seems that the BOJ seems to have written off investor production and exports, at least in the near term so that's not the real surprise," HSBC's Japan economist Izumi Devalier told CNBC.
"I think they will focus more on the relatively strong non-manufacturing number which they think is more important for Japan's labor market developments, and the capex numbers [which] are very positive as well."
Investors also eyed the latest readings of China's mammoth manufacturing sector, which painted a deteriorating picture in the world's second-biggest economy that suggests the need for further stimulus.
The government's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) ticked up to 49.8, beating expectations of 49.6 and compared with a reading of 49.7 in August. The final Caixin/Markit PMI, meanwhile, fell to a fresh six-and-a-half-year low of 47.2 in September, versus an earlier flash estimate of 47.
"The official PMI came in slightly better than expected... while not seeing a further decline was a positive in itself given the heightened state of negativity around China at [the] moment, there was good news in the sub-sector breakdown," IG's market analyst Angus Nicholson wrote in a note issued late Thursday.
"The most important subsectors both improved: output rose to 52.3 from 51.7 and new orders rose to 50.2 from 49.7. These numbers do seem to be indicating that the declining activity numbers in China may have hit a floor as the effect of monetary easing and stepped-up fiscal spending start to be felt," the Melbourne-based analyst added.
Chinese markets will not have an immediate chance to react to the data barrage as they are closed for the week-long National Day holiday starting from today.
Overnight on Wall Street, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite led gains with a jump of 2.3 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed up 15 and 1.9 percent respectively, following a rally in global markets.