The U.S. dollar slid to a 2-1/2-year low against a basket of major currencies and Asian stocks were poised to hit a 3-year high on Thursday, as investors scrambled to get in front of upward momentum in higher-yielding assets, particularly in emerging markets.

Brent oil rose above $124 a barrel while spot gold held near a record high above $1,500 an ounce in early Asian trade as a sharply weakening dollar supported a broad rally in commodities.

Commodity-related currencies rose with the Australian dollar hitting a post-float high against the U.S. dollar at $1.0740, as the hunt for yield intensified on prospects that U.S. interest rates would remain at a record low for a long time.

The U.S. dollar also fell against other major currencies. The dollar index <.DXY>, a gauge of its performance against six other major currencies, has tumbled since Monday to its lowest level since August 2008 at 74.116. The all-time low for the index is 70.698.

The MSCI Asia ex-Japan rose 0.5 percent 504.2, within striking distance of a three-year high at 504.4. Technology stocks got a lift after iPod maker Apple crushed forecasts on roaring global demand for its products.

Strong corporate results from U.S. bellwethers bolstered also bolstered Japan's Nikkei <.N225> which was up 0.9 percent.