A reduction in Spain’s borrowing costs also provided a boost, after the previous session’s well received French debt auction.
In Europe the FTSE added 37 points (+0.7%) to settle at 5694, whilst the CAC (+1.4%) and DAX (+1.8%) enjoyed even stronger gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 60 points (+0.5%) to settle at 12482, whilst the S&P added 0.4% and the Nasdaq firmed 0.6%.
Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in January at the fastest pace in nine months, providing support to US stocks.
The Aussie dollar reached a high of US$1.0450 overnight but couldn’t hold onto all of those gains and is currently holding around the 1.04 handle.
Oil rose strongly in response to solid German and Chinese economic data, gaining 2% to US$100.71 a barrel.
Base metals were mainly stronger with tin, lead and aluminium leading the way, whilst gold rose in line with other commodities, adding 1.3% to US$1655 an ounce.
In company news, BHP has reported record iron production during the December quarter, with petroleum output also rising strongly from the prior corresponding period.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of Westpac consumer sentiment (10:30am, AEDT) and new motor vehicle sales (11:30am, AEDT).