Stocks on Wall Street rallied as upbeat economic data in the United States and China lifted investor confidence about a global economic recovery.
The US private sector posted its largest jobs gain in three years and manufacturing grew for the 16th consecutive month, while China posted strong factory production data.
The Dow Jones Index was up 196 points, or almost 2% on Wednesday, to 11,203.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 51 points, or 2%, to 2550.
Stock markets in Europe also posted solid gains, with the FTSE 100 index in London rising 2%, the CAC 40 in Paris closed 1.6% higher and the DAX in Frankfurt jumped 2.66%.
Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 Index rose 2 points to close at 4587.
The NZX 50 rose 1 point to finish at 3265.
In the currency markets on Thursday morning, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 74.62 US cents, 77.44 Australian cents, 47.99 pence, 62.84 yen and 0.5713 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 68.17.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US87.63 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1387.89 per ounce.