Oil prices rise in Asian trade

Oil prices rose in Asian trade Wednesday, cheered by another record close for equities on the Dow Jones index that indicate confidence in the US economy, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April gained 21 cents to $92.75 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for April delivery increased six cents to $109.71.

Tony Nunan, risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo, said the recent rally in shares has helped buoy oil prices.

"Equities are going up, so people think the overall (US) economic recovery is strong," he told AFP.

The Dow ended at a record high for a sixth straight session on Tuesday, helped by the release last week of better-than-forecast US jobs data.

And while global markets were broadly tepid Tuesday and in early Asian trade Wednesday, the outlook is still positive, analysts said.

"The fatigue was allowed to set in by the absence of any 'meat and potatoes' -- hard global economic news that moves markets," said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.

"But the bull run still looks like it has plenty of legs and traders want markets to run higher."

For the crude market, "the US payroll data is still having a positive effect... as the world's biggest economy pulls itself out of the mud faster than eurozone and Chinese economies," Hughes added.