A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks vaulted higher as investors shrugged off a report showing poor industrial output last month as mainly weather-related.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday jumped 126.80 (0.79 per cent) to 16,154.39.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 8.80 (0.48 per cent) to 1,838.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 3.35 (0.08 per cent) to 4,244.03.
US industrial output unexpectedly fell 0.3 per cent in January.
But the Federal Reserve said the decline was partly due to "the severe weather that curtailed production in some regions of the country".
LONDON - European stocks advanced cautiously, boosted by news of recovering economic growth across the eurozone, while dealers tracked fresh political turmoil in Italy.
At close on Friday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day just 0.06 per cent higher at 6,663.62 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose 0.68 per cent to 9,662.40 points, while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.63 per cent to 4,340.14 points, its highest point since September 2008.
Milan's FSTE Mib index rallied 1.62 per cent to 20,437 points, as the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta sparks reform hopes in the debt-laden eurozone nation, analysts said.
The British pound rallied to $US1.6743 - the highest since late April 2011 - after the Bank of England earlier on the week hiked its economic growth forecasts. It later stood at $US1.6734.
The euro rose to $US1.3689 from $US1.3678 late in New York on Thursday.
HONG KONG - Asian stock markets saw broad gains, making a strong finish to the week as they took their lead from Wall Street, which shrugged off lacklustre US economic data.
Sydney closed up 0.91 per cent on Friday, or 48.2 points, to 5,356.3 in a rally that came despite mixed earnings results, and Seoul's benchmark index gained 0.69 per cent or 13.32 points to 1,940,28.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.60 per cent or 132.88 points to 22,298.41.
Tokyo stocks bucked the trend, closing down 1.53 per cent or 221.71 points to 14,313.03 as the yen strengthened on the back of the disappointing US retail sales and jobless figures which raised more questions about the health of the world's biggest economy.
Shanghai shares rallied after data showed China's inflation was unchanged in January from a month earlier, despite analysts warning the figure suggested weak growth prospects for the world's second-largest economy.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended up ended up 17.45 points and Shanghai improved 0.83 per cent to 2,115.85 on turnover of 97.4 billion yuan ($A17.91 billion).
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index rose 14.872 points or 0.3 per cent to 4888.40.