Asia markets mostly rose on Thursday after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signalled overnight that the US central bank could be cutting interest rates soon, reports CNBC.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.72 per cent.
Chinese stocks were mixed on the day. The Shanghai composite rose fractionally to 2,917.76, while the Shenzhen component declined 0.15 per cent to 9,152.77 and the Shenzhen composite fell 0.125 per cent to 1,548.93.Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.75 per cent, as of 3:15 pm HK/SIN.
The Nikkei 225 rose 0.51 per cent to close at 21,643.53, while the Topix gained 0.47 per cent to finish its trading day in Tokyo at 1,578.63. Shares of game maker Nintendo jumped 4.15 per cent a day after the company announced a cheaper version of its Switch video game console.
In South Korea, the Kospi added 1.06 per cent to close at 2,080.58.
Relations between Tokyo and Seoul remain frosty, with Japan saying last week it would tighten restrictions on exports of three materials used in smartphone displays and chips, over a dispute with Seoul on South Koreans being forced to work for Japanese firms during World War Two.
On Thursday, South Korea announced that up to 300 billion won (approx. $256 million) would be set aside to cope with Japan's export curbs.
Shares of companies potentially affected by the export curbs, such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, rose 1.43 per cent and 3.57 per cent respectively on Thursday.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.39 per cent to close at 6,716.10, as the sectors advanced. Banks were under the spotlight, with Australia's corporate regulator threatening on Thursday to prosecute some of the country's largest lenders over their sales of consumer insurance products in the past decade.
Meanwhile, European stocks traded slightly higher on Thursday afternoon.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.1 per cent, cutting earlier gains. Oil and gas stocks were the standout performers, the sector posting a 0.9 per cent rise while chemicals led losses, shedding 0.6 per cent.