British lawmakers are now widely expected to vote today to delay Britain's departure from the European Union, currently scheduled for March 29.
Oil futures rallied more than 1 percent as an unexpected drop in US crude inventory and a forecast of slower-than-expected supply growth from the world's top crude producer boosted prices.
Despite China's slowing growth, Asian markets have had an impressive rally this year, with the MSCI index climbing about 10 percent largely after the U.S. Federal Reserve all but abandoned its rate hike plans.
The euro was steady at US$1.1331 after advancing 0.3 per cent overnight.
The U.S. dollar gained on Thursday for the first time in a week, albeit modestly, as the pound stalled at lower levels ahead of a vote to extend Britain's March 29 deadline for exiting the European Union.
Elsewhere, oil pushed above US$58 a barrel in NY, boosted by a decline in U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles, adding to evidence of a tightening market. Nikkei slumped 1% to 21290.24 with yen little changed against the dollar as data showed domestic machinery orders fall in January accelerated.
Gold hit almost a two-week high as tepid US economic data reinforced views the Fed would be patient on monetary policy. Tepid inflation and disappointing producer price data this week support the Fed's stance of keeping interest rates on hold, denting the dollar. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.19 percent versus the greenback at 111.17 per dollar. Emerging-market stocks declined for the first time in three days.
European shares jumped on Wednesday as investors bet British lawmakers would vote to reject a disorderly no-deal Brexit, but underwhelming results from Inditex and Adidas kept gains limited.
James Gunn reinstated as 'Guardians of the Galaxy 3' director
After a series of meetings with Walt Disney Pictures honcho Alan Horn , fired director James Gunn will return to the Marvel fold. Dedicated fans even started a petition trying to get Disney to rehire Gunn.
The small-cap Russell 2000 Index lost 0.2 percent.
Dow Jones closed up by 0.58 percent, S&P 500 ended up 0.69 percent, Nasdaq finished the day up by 0.69 percent.
U.S. Treasury yields rose after falling the previous session as risk appetite improved and equity markets steadied.
Sterling was down 0.4 per cent at US$1.3285 (RM5.428) after going as high as US$1.3380 the previous day, its strongest since June 2018.
The rationale: Britain just can't seem to agree on a Brexit deal - and the uncertainty will keep bruising sentiment toward the most-volatile Group-of-10 currency this year, said Jingyi Pan, strategist at IG Asia Pte in Singapore.
Oil futures rallied about 2 percent on Wednesday as US crude inventories unexpectedly fell and an official forecast of crude oil supply growth from the world's top producer was revised lower.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined 0.3 percent, the largest decrease in more than a week.West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.1 percent to $58.30 a barrel, the highest in four months.LME copper sank 1.3 percent to $6,390.50 per metric ton, the lowest in three weeks on the largest tumble in 10 weeks.Gold sank 0.8 percent to $1,298.54 an ounce, the biggest dip in nearly two weeks.