Asian stock markets rose as investors waded back into riskier assets amid hopes that central banks in the US and elsewhere were gearing up for action to help their beleaguered economies.
Jobs data out of the US led investors to speculate that the US Federal Reserve was preparing to pump more money into the economy to breathe life into its slackening recovery.
The Labour Department said unemployment benefit applications rose 6,000 to 386,000 last week, a sign that hiring remains slow.
"A bigger-than-expected result for unemployment claims and a benign inflation reading saw investors speculate the Fed might conduct some easing to spur growth," Stan Shamu of IG Markets in Melbourne said in a market commentary.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3% to 8,595.88. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.2% to 19,034.21 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% to 4,059.80.
South Korea's Kospi fell 0.6% to 1,860.55 but benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia rose.
Analysts have said they expect the Fed might renew its Operation Twist programme under which it sells shorter-term securities and buys longer-term bonds to keep their rates down. The current programme expires at the end of June.
The Fed has also done two rounds of bond purchases to try to lower long-term interest rates and encourage borrowing and spending.