US stocks jumped sharply just before the trading session closed on Thursday following reports that central banks across the world are preparing for coordinated action if needed after the weekend.
Reuters reports that central banks are on standby to ensure enough cash is flowing through the financial system if severe market strains emerge after the confluence of three elections in Greece, Egypt and France this weekend.
The Dow Jones Index was up 99 points, or 0.8%, to 12,596 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2823.
The FTSE 100 in London earlier closed down 0.31%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.23% and the CAC-40 in Paris was up 0.08%.
The Australian 200 Index gained 2 points on Thursday, to close at 3416 and the NZX 50 index rose 34 points, or 1%, to close at 3416.
At 8am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 77.96 US cents, 78.20 Australian cents, 50.25 pence, 61.86 yen and 0.6193 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 70.78.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US97.43 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1618.70 per ounce.