Stocks on Wall Steet rebounded on Thursday as hopes build that Greece will abandon plans to hold a referendum over a euro-zone bailout. A surprise interest rate cut in Europe also boosted sentiment there.
The Dow Jones Index was up 190 points, or 1.6%, at 12,026 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 53 points, or 2%, at 2693.
European shares rose strongly, boosted by the European Central Bank cutting interest rates and optimism over the Greek referendum.
The FTSE 100 in London rose 1.1%, the DAX in Frankfurt gained 2.8% and the CAC-40 in Paris rose 2.7%.
Bank shares in France jumped. BNP Paribas rose 7.5%, despite announcing a 72% fall in quarterly profits. The BBC reports this was mainly due to the fact that it has written off 60% of its exposure to Greek debt.
The Australian 200 Index slipped 14 points, or 0.3%, to close at 4238 on Thursday. The NZX 50 rose 3 points to close at 3312.
At 8.20am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 79.60 US cents, 76.32 Australian, 49.62 pence, 62.15 yen and 0. 5751 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 69.42.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US110.09 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1763 per ounce.