Stocks in the United States edged up slightly on Wednesday as another round of soft economic data supported a growing belief the Federal Reserve will take new steps to stimulate growth, but tech stocks struggled.
The Dow Jones Index rose 54 points, or 0.5%, to close at 11,614. The Nasdaq Composite rose 3 points to 2579
Despite sharp gains in the last few days, the the Dow was down 4.4% for the month of August and the Nasdaq was down 6.4%.
However, the FTSE 100 in London climbed 2.4% as poor economic data in Britain and abroad fuelled expectations of further economic stimulus.
The DAX in Frankfurt rose 2.5% and the CAC-40 in Paris rose 3%.
The Australian 200 Index rose 27 points to 4297 and the NZX 50 rose 5 points to 3323 points.
At 8.20am on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 85.26 US cents, 79.78 Australian cents, 52.52 pence, 65.35 yen and 0.5935 euro.The Trade Weighted Index was at 72.94.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US117.92 per barrel and gold was trading at $US824.20 per ounce.