Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero as expected, snapping a recent run of losses in the region.
Investors' spirits were lifted after the Fed gave a rosier outlook on the U.S. economy but kept its fed funds rate unchanged in a range of zero to 0.25 percent in order to nurse a still-fragile recovery.
The Fed's unchanged view on interest rates "was in line with the market's expectations, but the Fed's better economic assessment is lifting sentiment," Tachibana Securities operating officer Kenichi Hirano told Dow Jones Newswires.
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address was also watched closely by investors after his recent proposals to limit the size and scope of the U.S. banking sector sent global markets plummeting over the past week. However, Obama buoyed sentiment with a pledge to make job creation a top priority in 2010, but added he would continue financial reform to fight against excessive speculation.
Tokyo closed up 1.58 percent, or 162.21 points, at 10,414.29. The market rebounded from a five-week low thanks to the Wall Street rally and a weaker yen, which is good for exports.
However shares in automaker Toyota tumbled 3.91 percent, having dived 4.26 percent Wednesday after the company expanded its massive recall in the U.S. by more than a million vehicles to replace floor mats that could trap accelerator pedals.
Hong Kong powered 1.81 percent ahead by the break after six straight days of decline, while Singapore was 1.88 percent higher.
On Wall Street, stocks rose 0.41 percent after the Fed said it expected to maintain very low interest rates "for an extended period" to support the economic recovery.
Chinese shares rose 0.59 percent on bargain hunting after four days of losses that were driven by concerns about a liquidity crunch, dealers said.
Australian shares closed up 0.62 percent, or 28.7 points, at 4,697.7 after a cautious start due to lower commodity prices overnight and caution over Chinese monetary policy, ahead of today's U.S. growth figures.
In other markets:
n Seoul closed up 16.95 points, or 1.04 percent, at 1,642.43.
n Taipei closed up 1.78 percent or 134.55 points at 7,694.58, snapping a seven-day losing streak. Solar energy shares led the rebound. Gintech Energy closed at NT$76.9 and Neo Solar Power at NT$60.7. Both were up by the 7.0 percent daily limit.
n Manila added 1.44 percent, or 42.15 points, to 2,961.63. Energy Development Corp. led gainers, rising 3.26 percent to 4.75 pesos.
n Wellington closed down 9.97 points, or 0.31 percent at 3,183.60.