Stocks and the US dollar rose on Tuesday on evidence that economies around the world are improving.
Sales of existing houses in the United States rose more than forecast in November and reached their highest level since February 2007, a sign that housing is gaining strength.
The Dow Jones Index was up 49 points, or 0.48%, to 10,462.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 12 points, or 0.5%, to 2249.
Earlier in Europe: the FTSE in London was up 48 points to 5342, the CAC-40 in Paris was up 30 points to 3902 and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 21 points to 5951.
The Australian 200 Index closed up 69 points, or 1.5%, at 4704.
The NZX 50 closed up 29 points, or 0.9%, to 3179 on turnover of $34 million.
At 8.30am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 70.31 US cents, 80.12 Australian cents, 44.01 pence, 64.53 yen and 0.4929 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 64.63.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US71.84 per barrel. Gold was trading at $US1085.95 per ounce.