European and Asian investors, shaking off last week's turmoil, were in a positive mood Monday.
Asian-Pacific stock exchanges opened the new week's account on an upbeat note and stayed there until the end, allowing investors to breathe easily after enduring unprecedented market swings last week brought on by S&P's U.S. rating downgrade, European debt, France's shaky AAA rating and other factors.
European investors liked what they saw in Asia and pushed their markets higher while awaiting Wall Street's opening. All major exchanges -- Germany's Dax, France's CAC 40 and London's FTSE 100 -- were up. Investors were buoyed ahead of Tuesdays scheduled meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the debt situation.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei-225 Index ushered in the good mood up with a respectable opening and closing on the same note with a gain of 123 points, or 1.37 percent, that helped it hurdle over the 9,000 psychological barrier, to 9,086 points.
The Japanese market-booster was a government announcement that the country's quake-tsunami-clobbered economy contracted at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the April-June quarter. Although it was the third straight quarterly contraction, it was much smaller than what had been expected. The yen remained below the 77 level against the U.S. dollar.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was greedier, loading up 641 points, or 3.26 percent, to 20,260 points, and the Shanghai Composite Index tacked on 34 points, or 1.30 percent, to 2,627.
Australia's All Ordinaries gained 109 points, or 2.6 percent, to 4,347. Stock prices also made good gains in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia.
Markets were closed in South Korea for Liberation Day and in India for the 64th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule.
While optimism reigned in Europe and Asia, a CNN report warned this week could again experience volatility in the United States.
"Investors are grappling with two primary questions: Will the U.S. slip into another recession, and will the euro survive?" Hans Olsen, head of Americas investment strategy for Barclays Wealth, a division of Barclays Capital, told CNN.
U.S. investors this week are also awaiting economic reports, such as July housing starts and inflation numbers and industrial production figures.