| GEO Business|
| Asian markets continue advance ahead of bank tests|
| Updated at: 1737 PST, Thursday, May 07, 2009|
TOKYO: Asia's stocks rallied again Thursday, with Japan leading the charge, as dealers were confident the "stress tests" of US banks would show just a few are in need of new capital to survive.
The Nikkei added 4.55 percent, after reopening following a three-day holiday, while Hong Kong jumped 2.28 percent, Sydney 1.85 percent and Singapore 2.87 percent.
Regional stocks have continued an upward trend over the past two months, with some indices reaching highs not seen for several months.
The United States will reveal Thursday which of the top 19 US banks are in need of more money to survive the global downturn, which has already seen Washington spend billions bailing out struggling financial firms.
There was also an upbeat feeling that the global economy may be looking brighter after new jobs figures in the United States beat expectations.
And Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said late Wednesday recovery in the world's biggest economy "is going to take a while" but noted there were "important signs of some stability".