Japanese stocks advanced, following U.S. equities higher, as a rebound in crude oil buoyed demand for risky assets.

The Topix index climbed 1.9 percent to 1,306.53 as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The measure’s up 9.2 percent since Feb. 12, when it closed at a 15-month low. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 1.9 percent on Thursday, as the yen traded at 114.26 per dollar. U.S. stock-index futures rose after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained more than 1 percent for a third straight day, the first time that’s happened since 2011.

U.S. crude extended gains above $31 a barrel as Iran supported a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze production at near-record levels, without saying whether it would curb its own output. Futures climbed as much as 3.5 percent in New York after rising 5.6 percent Wednesday.

Contracts on the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent. The underlying measure jumped 1.7 percent yesterday as the year’s most-battered shares continued to recover and energy stocks climbed. Minutes from the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting released Wednesday in Washington show officials were worried about a series of drags and disruptions, suggesting they may step back from a December projection of four rate increases this year.

Source : Bloomberg