Stocks in the United States had a strong finish to the session following a stronger-than-expected increase in July durable goods orders.
The Dow Jones Index was up 144 points, or 1.3%, at 11,321. The Nasdaq Composite was up 22 points, or 0.8%, at 2468.
In Europe: the FTSE 100 in London was up 1.5%, the DAX in Frankfurt was up 2.7% and the CAC-40 in Paris was up 1.8%.
The Nikkei in Japan was down 93 points to 8640 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 409 points at 19,466
The Australian 200 Index was down 6 points, or 0.1%, at 4168. The NZX 50 rose 18 points, or 0.5%, to 3288.
At 8.30am on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 82.77 US cents, 79.07 Australian cents, 50.55 pence, 63.70 yen and 0.5740 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 71.06.
Brent crude oil fell to $US112.69 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1758.29 per ounce.