Hong Kong - Asian markets surged on Thursday, following another rally on Wall Street and ahead of a speech by Fed chief Ben Bernanke that many hope will outline plans to kickstart the ailing US economy.
The more positive mood - helped by a strong batch of US manufacturing data - saw safe haven assets fall, with gold tumbling from its record high above $1 900 and the yen weakening.
Regional firms with links to Apple slipped and its rivals rose after Steve Jobs announced his resignation of the US computer giant on Wednesday.
Tokyo gained 1.43% by the break, Hong Kong was 1.36% higher, Sydney added 1.04% and Shanghai rose 0.49% while Seoul climbed 1.67%.
Traders took their cue from a third straight day of gains on Wall Street, where sentiment was boosted by data from the US Commerce Department showing new orders for durable goods rebounding 4% in July from June, suggesting manufacturing growth could pick up in the coming months.
Markets are also buoyant as they await Bernanke's speech on Friday, which will be closely watched for signs of whether he endorses a further loosening of monetary policy to boost the world's leading economy.
Last year, during a speech at the same annual conference he hinted that the Fed might launch a second round of quantitative easing - essentially, injecting fresh money into the economy in a bid to pump up growth. The Fed later carried through on the policy, fuelling a months-long stock surge.
On Wednesday the Dow rallied 1.29%, the S&P 500 rose 1.31% and the Nasdaq added 0.88%.
The upbeat sentiment sent the price of gold tumbling in London, where it bottomed out at around $1 760 an ounce just days after it hit a record high $1 913.
The precious metal opened in Hong Kong at $1 763.00 - $1 764.00 an ounce.
On currency markets the yen was slightly down from the previous days' highs.
The dollar rose to ¥77.06 in Tokyo morning trade from ¥76.97 in New York late on Wednesday. It had been at ¥76.64 in Asia on Wednesday.
Against the Japanese currency the euro edged up to ¥111.06 from ¥110.97 in New York on Wednesday and ¥110.49 in Asia.
The euro bought $1.4412, almost flat from New York.
However, despite the brighter data Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager of investment strategy and research at Daiwa Securities in Japan, offered a note of caution.
"The three-day advance in US stocks is prompting bargain-hunting and short-covering, but overall sentiment still leans towards pessimism and trading will likely continue to be volatile going into next week," he told Dow Jones Newswires.
In the technology sector Apple-reliant shares were lower after Jobs - considered the soul of the firm - said he would resign as the firm's CEO.
Shares in the maker of the iPhone and iPad tumbled 5.3% in after-hours US trade.
Softbank, Japan's only Apple distributor, edged down 0.1%, while Taiwan component supplier Hon Hai Precision shed 1.2%.
However, Apple rivals rose, with HTC gaining 3.8% in Taipei and in Seoul Samsung Electronics rose 2.3% while LG Electronics, the world's third-biggest mobile phone maker, climbed 4%.
Oil continued to edge back up as rebels and pro=government forces continued to battle it out in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Brent North Sea crude for October delivery rose 18 cents to $110.33. The contract had tumbled this week as it looked like the six-month battle for the country was drawing to a close, which would allow oil to flow again.
New York's main contract light sweet crude for October delivery added 31c to $85.47 a barrel.