KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Global stock markets were mostly higher Thursday after oil prices hit $50 a barrel for the first time since November.
KEEPING SCORE: In early European trading, Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.04 percent at 6,265.09 and France's CAC rose 0.02 percent to 4,481.92. Germany's DAX advanced 0.2 percent to 10,223.94. Futures augured gains on Wall Street. Dow futures were up 0.8 percent and S&P futures rose 0.7 percent.
OIL RALLY: Benchmark U.S. crude breached the psychological $50 a barrel level after the U.S. government reported a larger-than-expected drop in fuel stockpiles last week. Oil prices have risen since early this year, sparking some concerns prices may not be sustained because underlying macro conditions have not changed proportionally. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 32 cents to $50.06 a barrel after rising as high as $50.26 earlier.
ANALYST'S QUOTE: "In markets, risk sentiment continued to improve. Energy stocks and oil-linked currencies benefited from the rise in oil prices. Equity markets were on a slightly stronger note," said Mizuho Bank in Singapore.
ASIA's DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index added nearly 0.1 percent to close at 16,772.46. China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 percent to 2,822.44 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.14 percent to 20,397.11. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3 percent to 5,388.80. Stocks in Taiwan and South Korea were down.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 109.71 yen from 109.98 yen. The euro rose to $1.1179 from $1.1143.