South Korea's Kopsi index jumped 2.8 percent to 1,829.50. Leading shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. soared 9.1 percent. Hynix Semiconductor, the world's second-largest memory chip maker, jumped 8.4 percent on brighter chip price forecasts, Yonhap News agency said. Refinery SK Innovation rose 7.1 percent.

Gold shares rose after prices of the precious metal rebounded Friday after a volatile week. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia's largest gold miner, rose 1.5 percent. Hong Kong-listed Zijin, China's top gold miner, was 1.2 percent higher. Hong Kong jewelry chain Chow Sang Sang Holdings gained 4.7 percent.

Other Australian metals shares rose on the back of higher commodities prices. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's largest mining company, rose 1.3 percent. Rio Tinto Ltd. gained 2.1 percent.

Mainland Chinese shares lost ground, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index falling 1.4 percent to 2,576.41. T he Shenzhen Composite Index slipped 0.9 percent, to 1,159.52. Shares in food and traveling related companies advanced on expectations upcoming holidays will boost demand, while shares in financial companies weakened.

"Property shares were sold on speculation the government might impose a windfall profits tax levy which could lead to a quite serious funds shortage," said Peng Yunliang, an analyst based in Shanghai.

Poly Real Estate dropped 3.5 percent while industry leader China Vanke fell 2.5 percent. China International Travel Service Corp. Ltd. gained 3.7 percent.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.2 percent to close at 11,284.54. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.5 percent to 1,176.80. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 2.5 percent to 2,479.85.

The Fed has said it plans to keep short-term interest rates low until mid-2013. Low rates on investments like bonds make higher-risk bets such as stocks more attractive.

The U.S. economy is still hobbled by a depressed housing market, high oil prices and fears that the European debt crisis will deteriorate into a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

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