Stocks are mixed on Wall Street as higher oil prices lifted energy shares, while the Nasdaq fell.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says the US economy seemed to have enough momentum to avoid a double-dip recession, though this has been offset by continuing concerns of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
The Dow Jones Index on Tuesday was up 47 points to 9,864. The Nasdaq Composite was down 20 points to 2154.
In Europe: stocks fell after Fitch Ratings said Britain faced a formidable fiscal challenge and BP's share sank on fresh oil leak worries.
The FTSE 100 index in London was down 0.8%, the CAC-40 in Paris was down 1% and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.6%.
Earlier, in Toyko, the NIkkei up 17 points to 9538.
The Australian 200 Index up 55 points, or 1.3%, to 4381.
The NZX 50 index down 41 points, or 1.4%, to close at 2,989 on turnover of $60 million.
At 6.30am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at at 66.47 US cents, 80.87 Australian cents, 46.18 pence, 60.64 yen and 0.5564 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.53.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US71.44 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1235.25 per ounce.