World stock markets mostly rose on Wednesday, led by a surge in Chinese stocks, but gains were capped by caution over earnings, with IBM disappointing expectations.
The Shanghai Composite jumped 2.2 percent to 2,147.14 after the central bank promised to provide extra liquidity to the financial system to offset concerns over a slowdown in growth.
"The major bourses are in for a firmer start as they ride the momentum from Asian trade," strategist Stan Shamu of IG Markets said in a report.
Technology stocks were weighed down, however, after IBM reported lower-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter. Its shares fell 3.8 percent.
In Europe, Germany's DAX stock index inched up 0.1 percent to 9,740.02 while the CAC-40 in France added 0.3 percent to 4,337.30.
Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.1 percent to 6,827.31 after a report showed unemployment was falling faster toward a level where the Bank of England might consider raising interest rates.
Wall Street was sluggish on the open, with the Dow falling 0.1 percent at 16,396.85 and the broader S&P 500 rising by the same rate to 1,844.63.
Earlier, Japan's Nikkei, Asia's heavyweight index, gained 0.2 percent to 15,820.96 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.2 percent to 23,082.25. South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent at 1,970.42 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.2 percent to 5,319.80. India's Sensex added 0.2 percent.
Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 67 cents at $95.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3539 from $1.3561 late Tuesday. The dollar rose to 104.39 yen from 104.29 yen.