Stocks have risen on Wall Street, after data on the labour market and consumer spending signalled that economy activity is picking up.
The Dow Jones Index on Wednesday was up 147 points to 11,184. The Nasdaq Composite was up 50 points to 2445.
Earlier, in Europe: the FTSE in London was up 1.5%, the DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.7% and the CAC-40 in Paris was up 0.7%.
In Japan, the Nikkei closed on 10,030, down 85 points. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong finished on 23,023, up 127 points.
The Australian 200 Index was down 4 points to 4585.
The NZX 50 rose 10 points to close at 3269 on turnover of $78 million.
The dollar on Thursday morning was trading at 76.36 US cents, 77.59 Australian cents, 48.35 pence, 63.67 yen and 0.5715 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 68.82.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US85.22 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1375.64 per ounce.