BANGKOK (AP) - Good news about the U.S. economy, including strong auto sales, is helping boost Asian stock markets in Thursday trading.
A Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday showed that all 12 of the Fed's districts reported moderate economic growth from July through late August. More good news came from the auto industry: General Motors and other carmakers posted strong sales in August, giving the industry its best month in six years.
That data comes on top of the Institute for Supply Management's report, released Tuesday, that said U.S. factory production rose in August at the fastest pace in two years.
Japan's Nikkei swung between losses and gains before rising 0.3 percent to 14,093.36 after the Bank of Japan said following a policy meeting that the world's No. 3 economy was "recovering moderately" and the central bank's easing policies would be maintained for the time being.
Meanwhile, oil prices have been rising. Benchmark oil for October delivery was up 28 cents to $107.51 at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell Wednesday by $1.31 to close at $107.23 a barrel on the Nymex.