US stocks were up on Wednesday as a rise in mining and energy shares offset worries about unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Dow Jones Index was up 89 points, or 0.7%, to 12,108. The Nasdaq Composite was up 16 points, or 0.7%, to 2274.
European shares ended higher. Analysts say markets should rise even higher as the Libyan conflict becomes clearer, and the Japanese nuclear situation improves.
The FTSE100 in London rose 0.5%, the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.3% and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.4 percent.
The Australian 200 Index rose 9 points to 4652 on Wednesday.
The NZX 50 rose 11 points, or 0.3%, to close at 3376.
At 8.10am on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 74.26 US cents, 73.17 Australian cents, 45.73 pence, 60.06 yen and 0.526 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.09.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US116 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1437.35 per ounce.