It's been a choppy session on Wall Street, but investors appear to have responded favourably to the news BP will put about $US20 billion into a fund to cover claims resulting from the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.
BP will not pay any dividend this year.
In addition, a profit warning from FedEx and weak housing market data overshadowed a surge in industrial production.
The Dow Jones Index closed up 5 points, or 0.1%, to at 10,413.
The Nasdaq Composite was unchanged at 2306.
Earlier in Europe: the FTSE 100 index was up 0.4%, the DAX in Frankfurt was 0.3% higher and the CAC-40 in Paris was up 0.4%.
The Australian 200 Index closed up 54 points, or 1.2%, at 4559.
The NZX 50 rose 23 points, or 0.%, to close at 3067 on turnover of $27 million.
At 8.15am on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 69.73 US cents, 80.85 Australian cents, 47.37 pence, 63.79 yen and 0.5667 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 67.33.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US76.36 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1231.75 per ounce.