AFP - Asian stock markets rallied again yesterday as another surge in oil prices and gains on Wall Street reinforced optimism about the world economy.
With a positive vibe flowing across trading floors, investors shifted out of safe-bet assets such as the yen, which helped Japan’s Nikkei record a third-straight gain.
However, carmaker Mitsubishi Motors bombed 20 percent, extending Wednesday’s 15 percent dive -- and wiping billions off its value -- on news it falsified fuel-efficiency tests on hundreds of thousands of vehicles.
New York investors provided a solid platform for their Asian counterparts, thanks to another jump in crude prices that came in response to data showing US production fell last week.
The two main contracts soared around four percent after the news -- putting them both into the mid-$40 a barrel zone.
Prices edged up further yesterday putting the commodity around its highest levels this year, just days after the failure of much-anticipated talks between major producers aimed at limiting output. Brent rose 0.4 percent to break the $46 mark for the first time since November, while West Texas Intermediate also added 0.4 percent.
Analysts said confidence has been buoyed in recent weeks by a string of healthy data out of China, the world’s number two economy, and the Federal Reserve’s shift to put off any interest rate hikes until after June.