*Sony jumps on report of assessing spin-off proposal. TOKYO, May 22- The Nikkei average climbed 1.6 percent to a fresh 5-1/ 2- year high on Wednesday, spurred on by the Bank of Japan's optimism about the economic outlook, while Sony Corp surged on reports it may consider a proposal to spin off its entertainment assets.» Read More
Asian shares fell Tuesday for a second consecutive session as investors worried that a recent rally may be overdone, though oil prices extended gains ahead of data this week expected to show a fall in U.S. crude inventories.
Asian markets were mostly higher Monday after smaller than expected U.S. job losses suggested a recovery is under way, while government bonds slid as investors speculated central banks may have to raise interest rates sooner than previously thought.
Asian stocks rose Friday as hopes for a global economic recovery drove up appetite for riskier assets, but traders were cautious ahead of U.S. monthly job data. Resource shares were among the leading gainers after oil prices surged to a seven-month high on hopes that the global recession had bottomed out.
Asian markets slipped Thursday, after disappointing U.S. private employment and services sector data led investors to trim over extended bets and look for better points to buy again.
Asian stocks hovered close to eight-month highs Wednesday, pausing for breath after rallying on optimism that the global economy is through the worst, while the dollar struggled near its latest set of lows for the year.
Improving global manufacturing data lifted some Asian markets Tuesday, bringing a regional index near to levels before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September, but the pace of gains slowed as investors weighed how much longer a heady, three-month rally will last.
Asian markets shot to eight-month highs Monday after a gauge of China's manufacturing activity offered fresh evidence of a recovery in the world's third-largest economy.
Asian markets were mostly higher Friday, but lagging Wall Street's rise after some solid gains earlier in the week. Higher commodity prices also supported mining and energy-related stocks in Asia, though investors were reluctant to take big bets on increasingly expensive shares until more evidence emerged of a sustained recovery.
Asian markets were mixed Thursday in choppy trade as concerns grew that rising yields on U.S. government debt could push up borrowing costs and choke off a potential recovery in the world's largest economy. South Korea though managed a 2 percent jump later in the session.
Asian markets rose Wednesday to their highest level in more than seven months after a jump in U.S. consumer confidence reinforced expectations the global economy has hit a bottom, even if recovery appears fragile.
Asian markets edged lower Tuesday with stocks in Seoul ending the session down 2 percent after North Korea threatened to launch more missiles while investor doubts about the world economy kept riskier assets such as the euro under pressure.
Asian markets were mixed in extremely choppy trade Monday with South Korean stocks and the won tumbling after North Korea said it had conducted a nuclear test. This hit regional shares, which were trading higher until the news, stirring caution among investors.
Asian markets were mostly lower Friday with the U.S. dollar falling to its weakest in almost five months against major currencies on investor worries that the United States would lose its AAA rating.
Asian markets weakened Thursday after news that the Federal Reserve lowered its forecasts for U.S. economic growth over the next three years.
Asian stocks faltered Wednesday while the Australian dollar and emerging market currencies slid, with investors reluctant to keep a near three-month rally in risky assets going without more good economic news.
Asian shares climbed to their highest level in seven months Tuesday on fresh hopes the global recession is easing, and oil hovered at six-month peaks as supply concerns helped buoy up prices.
Asian shares fell Monday as concerns about slumping corporate profits and the still-uncertain outlook for the global economy fueled a retreat from recent highs, keeping the safe-haven yen broadly higher.
Asian markets rose Friday as investors bought shares that stood to benefit the most from an expected global recovery, but still looked set to post their biggest weekly decline since March on worries equity markets have risen too far, too fast.
Asian markets were sharply lower Thursday as weak U.S. retail sales highlighted the long road to economic recovery, prompting profit-taking on winning bets in equities, higher-yielding currencies and commodities over the past two months.
Asian stocks wobbled Wednesday with markets in Japan and South Korea finishing higher but Australia closing lower as investors bought back defensive sectors after a solid rally in the last few months left them wondering whether it would last.