Stocks on Wall St have risen after sales of existing homes in the United States increased in April to their highest rate in nearly two years.
But gains have been capped by concerns about the global economic outlook.
Meanwhile, shares in Facebook fell as much as 9% due to increased doubts about the company's valuation, after Reuters reported lead underwriter Morgan Stanley cut revenue forecasts for the social networking site shortly before the IPO on Friday.
The Dow Jones Index closed up 38 points, or 0.3%, at 12,543. The Nasdaq Composite was up 3 points, or 0.1%, at 2850.
In Europe: the FTSE 100 index in London rose 1.9%, the DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.7& and the CAC-40 in Paris was up 1.9%.
The Nikkei in Tokyo was up 95 points to 8729.
The Australian 200 rose 47 points, or 1.1%, to close at 41 21 and the NZX50 index rose 36 points to close at 3530.
At 8.24am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 75.78 US cents, 77.01 Australian cents, 48.03 pence, 60.68 yen and 0.5956 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 68.90.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US110.47 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1571.30 per ounce.