Most Asian share markets took cues from a global surge in equities and rose on Thursday, while weak U.S. economic data sent the dollar lower.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 1 percent. South Korean, Australian, Chinese and Malaysian stocks gained, while Japan's Nikkei .N225 lost 0.5 percent on a stronger yen.

Wall Street shares posted sizable gains overnight on several strong corporate earnings results and the pan-European Eurofirst 300 index of leading shares .FTEU3 climbed to a 14-year high after the European Central Bank affirmed its loose policy stance.

In currencies, the region's big mover was the Aussie, lifted to a three-week high by stronger-than-expected Australian employment numbers.

The Australian dollar was up 1.2 percent at $0.7777 AUD=D4 after a potential sign the labor market was not as weak as many had assumed. ECONAU

"There's less probability of the Reserve Bank of Australia cutting in May, but we're sticking with our call that the RBA needs to cut the cash rate because there are still a lot of other moving parts out there that aren't good," said Stephen Walters, chief economist at JPMorgan in Sydney.

"The currency is up quite a bit after this number, inflation next week is probably going to be quite low, business confidence is low, consumer confidence is low, iron ore prices are plunging so the case (to cut) is still there, it just makes it slightly less likely."

The U.S. dollar lurched lower against the euro and yen after dropping the previous day on weak U.S. industrial output and New York state manufacturing activity data. The soft indicators fed uncertainty over the timing of the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike.

The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.0707 EUR=, adding to overnight gains. The dollar extended losses and slipped 0.1 percent to 118.99 yen JPY=.

The market will look to U.S. housing data later in the day for further dollar incentives.

"Even if the actual number is in line with expectations, it will be enough to reinforce the view that the U.S. economic slowdown during winter was a temporary one, and thus support the dollar," said Masafumi Yamamoto, senior strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo.

"If the dollar is to rise, it will gain more against the euro and Australian dollar rather than the yen as Japanese authorities have not exactly welcomed a further weakening," he said.

The Canadian dollar stood a head taller than its peers, jumping to a three-month high of C$1.2280 per USD CAD=D4 after the Bank of Canada surprised the markets by indicating no further easings were imminent.

A surge in crude oil also supported commodity currencies such as the Canadian dollar. U.S. crude rallied after government data showed oil inventories in the United States rose less than expected last week. [O/R]

U.S. crude CLc1 was down 0.5 percent at $56.09 a barrel after jumping nearly 6 percent overnight.