In the slipstream of another record high on the Dow Jones index, markets were solid on Wednesday ahead of the publication of the minutes of the US Federal Reserve's last meeting.
Apart from Japan's Nikkei which has been buoyant on the back of a new aggressive approach from the Bank of Japan, stock markets globally have largely languished over the past few days on concerns ranging from the tensions on the Korean peninsula, a new strain of bird flu in China that has killed 9 people and worries over Portugal's public finances.
Even so, the Dow Jones eked out a new record closing high of 14,673.5 amid hopes over the coming US corporate earnings results season. That's helped shore up markets globally in the run-up to the Fed statement.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.7% at 6,359 while Germany's DAX rose 1.2% to 7,732. The CAC-40 in France was 1.2% higher at 3,714.
The session on Wall Street is expected to be fairly calm in the run-up to the Fed minutes. Dow futures were 0.2% higher while the S&P 500 futures rose 0.3%.
Traders will be keen to see if there was a marked change in tone among rate-setters and if the central bank's monetary stimulus may end sooner than expected.