Markets in Asia were led higher by the Nikkei, which surged 3.8% and closed at its highest level since 2008 on hopes that the yen will continue to weaken.
The rally was helped by news that Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa will step down from his post sooner than expected. The country's central bank has been under intense political pressure to engage in further monetary easing. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite added 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5%.
Oil prices fell 0.3%, while gold prices were up slightly.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.99% from 2.02%. The U.S. dollar rose versus the euro and the British pound, but fell versus the Japanese yen.