A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks opened higher, following a rise in European markets after the World Bank raised its growth forecast for the global economy.
Five minutes into trade on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 29.99 (0.18 per cent) to 16,403.85.
The broad-based S&P 500 added 4.44 (0.24 per cent) at 1,843.32, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 17.76 (0.42 per cent) to 4,200.78.
The World Bank said global economic growth is estimated to hit 3.2 per cent this year, accelerating from a 2.4 per cent annual pace in 2013.
LONDON - European stocks rose as the World Bank declared the global economy was at a turning point, while the luxury goods sector was boosted by sparkling results from Burberry.
Sentiment was also bolstered by solid German economic growth data, which propelled Frankfurt's DAX 30 up 2.03 per cent to a new record close of 9,733.81 points.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.78 per cent to end Wednesday at 6,819 points and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.35 per cent to 4,332.07 points, which beat its record close in 2013.
Milan jumped 1.6 per cent and Madrid advanced 1.4 per cent to 10,525 points, their highest levels since July 2011.
The World Bank on Wednesday declared the global economy was "finally turning the corner five years after the global financial crisis", and hiked its latest economic growth forecasts.
Burberry retail revenues jumped 14 per cent to STG528 million ($A973.8 million) in the three months to December 31, compared with a year earlier.
The euro fell to $US1.3598 from $US1.3677 late on Tuesday in New York.
HONG KONG - Asia's markets mostly rose after a surprisingly strong batch of retail data out of the United States eased concerns about the world's number one economy.
Tokyo led gainers, surging 2.50 per cent - its best performance of 2014 - helping it claw back some of the losses of more than three per cent suffered on Tuesday.
The Nikkei ended 386.33 points higher at 15,808.73.
Sydney rose 0.64 per cent, or 33.4 points, to 5,245.4 and Seoul added 0.37 per cent, or 7.21 points, to 1,953.28.
Hong Kong ended 0.49 per cent higher, adding 110.72 points, to 22,902.00 but Shanghai closed down 0.17 per cent, or 3.49 points, at 2,023.35.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index advanced 47.875 points, or about one per cent, to 4913.034.