In Europe, the FTSE gained 63 points (-1.2%), whilst the CAC (+1%) and DAX (+0.9%) also posted solid gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones jumped 166 points (+1.5%), whilst the S&P 500 added 1.7% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq put on 1.8%.
A rise in September retail sales provided a boost to US markets, even overcoming results from another survey showing Americans are feeling less confident about the economy.
The euro rallied the most against the US dollar in more than two years on speculation political leaders will be able to resolve the region’s debt crisis.
Elsewhere, risk currencies were firmly back in favour with the Aussie and Kiwi dollars surging. The Aussie begins the new trading week with the US$1.04 handle firmly in the crosshairs.
Oil moved strongly higher, adding US$2.57 (+3.1%) to settle at US$86.80 – its highest level since 20 September.
Gold was another strong performer, posting its biggest weekly gain in six weeks amid optimism about progress in Europe and a fall in the greenback.
Heading into the new trading week, the focus will remain firmly on Europe as leaders there continue to work through the region’s debt troubles, whilst the US moves into the heart of earnings season.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of new motor vehicle sales, at 11:30am, AEDT.