Tokyo's Nikkei jumped on Thursday as the yen fell broadly after Japanese authorities intervened to weaken the currency, a day after the Swiss central bank surprised markets by cutting interest rates to rein in the high-flying franc.
Other Asian stock markets also drifted higher, but worries about global growth were likely to limit investor enthusiasm. The surge in safe-haven gold paused at $1,662 an ounce as riskier assets made a tentative comeback.
Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan intervened unilaterally on Thursday, but declined to comment on the size of the intervention.
After two days of steep losses, Japan's Nikkei share average jumped 1.34 percent, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan put on 0.40 percent.
The dollar rallied to 78.43 yen from near 77.00 before the intervention. The euro surged to around 112.30 yen from around 110.70 yen.
Investors also took heart after Wall Street ended a seven-day losing streak on Wednesday.