Asian markets hit a new four-month high Monday as a relentless rise in oil prices bolstered resource shares, but wariness about inflation and doubts about the U.S. economy kept gains in check.
The U.S. dollar was range-bound after its drop on Friday when data showing a plunge in U.S. consumer confidence to a 28-year low raised doubts about when the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the world's largest economy.
Asian shares have rebounded 20 percent since hitting the year's low in mid-March, but record oil prices continue to worry, despite the benefit to resource firms, given the prospects of inflation at a time of slowing global economic growth.
Concerns over tight fuel supplies led oil prices higher, with U.S. light crude for June delivery up 33 cents at $126.62 a barrel, near the record $127.82 hit on Friday. Oil prices have risen six-fold since 2002 and doubled since last year as strong demand from China and other developing nations comes amid tightening production capacity.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Average rose 0.4 percent to hit a four-month closing high as near record-high oil prices boosted Inpex Holdings, while higher commodity prices also pushed up trading firms such as Mitsubishi Corp.