European stocks rose as finance ministers discussed ways to overcome the region's financial crisis.
Britain's FTSE 100 edged 0.3 per cent higher, while France's CAC 40 gained 1 per cent and Germany's DAX rose 1.1 per cent.
U.S. stock futures appeared stronger as well, with Dow futures rising 60 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 11,838 and S&P 500 futures up 7.7 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 1,218.60, about two hours before the New York Stock Exchange opened.
Asian equities were knocked lower by concerns over political risk and instability following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Japan's Nikkei lost 1.3 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 1.2 per cent, while South Korea's KOSPI closed 3.4 per cent lower. Markets in Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia also sank.
In Europe, finance ministers were set to pursue plans to enhance the IMF’s arsenal and press ahead with a drive for tighter fiscal rules. The EU ministers will discuss via a teleconference the draft text of a new euro zone “fiscal compact” so that it can be finalised by the end of January, officials said.
Gold dipped $3.70 to $1,594 (U.S.) an ounce.
U.S. crude oil rose 0.5 per cent to $93.98 a barrel.
The Canadian dollar rose to 96.47 U.S. cents.