Resources-linked stocks rose and oil climbed toward the $91 per dollar mark for the first time in more than two years after latest U.S. data offered yet another sign that the world's biggest economy is on the mend.
The Asia-ex Japan index for commodity shares as measured by MSCI <.MIAPJMT00PUS> also rose within sight of a recent 2- year peak as investors bet that a healing U.S. economy along with the relentless rise of China and India would continue to fuel demand for commodities amid tight supplies.
The S&P/Goldman commodities index <.SPGSCI>, which has a higher weightage of oil and therefore more relevant to Asia due to its huge demand, also flirted with a fresh 26-month peak on Thursday.
The 30-day correlation between the S&P 500 and the same commodities index has been between a high 0.87 and 0.94.
Wednesday's data, which showed the U.S. economy expanded at a slightly higher than expected pace of 2.6 percent in the third quarter, comes after recent data such as retail sales indicated economic activity has accelerated in the last few months.
That brightening growth view has forced analysts to revise up their projections for the United States and kicked Treasury yields up nearly 100 basis points since the start of November -- when the Fed launched its second round of quantitative easing.
The global economy looks a whole lot happier than it did six months ago. Fears of a double-dip have faded, HSBC economists said in a note while upgrading their 2011 global growth forecasts by nearly half a percentage point to 3.3 percent led by Asia.
That growing optimism was reflected in latest Reuters polls, which showed investment houses raising their equity holdings, increasing exposure to high-yield credit and cutting back on government debt.
Asia Pacific stocks, as measured by MSCI <.MIAPJ0000PUS> were largely steady as thin year-end liquidity and a holiday in Japan meant investors were reluctant to do much after having taken some profits recently when Asian stocks hit 2- year peaks.
But in a grim reminder that the euro zone's debt crisis were far from over, the euro plumbed to a record low versus the Swiss franc overnight, with traders citing some buying interest emerging from players in the region, including central banks.
While the outlook toward the single currency continues to be bearish in 2011, the euro seems sandwiched between good sovereign demand in the high 1.30's and decent selling interest on 100 pip rallies.
In contrast, the Australian dollar was back at parity against the greenback, thanks to optimism about the global economy which has supported commodity prices and global stocks.
Ten-year U.S. Treasuries were a shade weaker with yields rising to 3.35 percent, on course for its fourth consecutive monthly rise. T-note futures pointed to further rise in yields.
Gold which has been a big beneficiary this year due to the euro zone's debt crisis, was largely steady around $1386 an ounce, just below a historical peak of around $1,430 hit earlier this month.
(Additional reporting by Kevin Plumberg, Reuters FX analyst Krishna Kumar and Ian Chua in SYDNEY)