Upbeat data lifted the dollar and sent world shares to a fourth all-time high in less than a month on Thursday, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signalled that a rise in interest rates would be less aggressive than had been expected.
Oil prices gained as evidence of stronger demand in China offset reports of higher production by key OPEC exporters in a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Stocks on Wall Street climbed, ahead of Yellen`s second day of testimony after her remarks on Wednesday suggested a more gradual tightening of monetary policy than expected, which sparked a rally in global equity markets.
The U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Fed to raise rates and begin winding down its massive bond portfolio, though low inflation may leave the central bank with less leeway, Yellen told a House committee on Wednesday.
Sentiment was boosted after China reported upbeat data on exports and imports for June, the latest sign that global trade is finding some traction again. The data pushed Asian shares up more than 1 percent and lifted MSCI`s 47-country gauge of global equity markets to a fresh record high with a gain of 0.25 percent.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.27 percent to close at a preliminary 1,518.69.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.24 points, or 0.08 percent, to 21,550.38. The S