Asian shares firmed on Thursday, encouraged by stronger U.S. economic data and a rise in oil prices, while growing prospects of a U.S. rate hike hit gold and the boosted the dollar to one-month highs versus the yen, Reuters reported this morning. U.S. services sector activity recovered sharply in September from six-year low hit in August, following similarly upbeat news from U.S. factories on Monday. Rising optimism on the U.S. economy boosted bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.To subscribe please click here