European stocks bounced higher Tuesday, recording a second straight gain, and its best daily percentage advance in two weeks, a day after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen offered guidance on U.S. monetary policy plans.
The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials eked out modest gains Tuesday as the indexes crept within striking distance of fresh highs, propelled by a sharp rally in the energy sector.
However, a slump in biotech weighed on the Nasdaq Composite, dragging it into negative territory.
Asian shares were flat on Wednesday, as weak Chinese export data offset a brightening energy sector outlook and an expected delay in interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 extended losses to trade 0.3 percent lower, weighed down by a stronger yen.
Chinese shares also slipped, with the CSI 300 .CSI300 and the Shanghai Composite indices both down 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.4 percent.
Chinese dollar-denominated exports declined 4.1 percent in May from a year earlier, compared with the expected drop of 3.6 percent. Imports fell 0.4 percent, less than the expected 6 percent. China's trade surplus is forecast to hit $50 billion in May.
The advance was led by 2.1 percent gains in energy shares .SPNY as oil prices jumped more than 1 percent to hit 2016 highs on expectations of domestic stockpile draws and worries about supply shortfalls from attacks on Nigeria's oil industry.
A report by trade group American Petroleum Institute (API), released after Tuesday's close showed a crude draw of 3.6 million barrels, larger than expectations of 2.7 million barrels, supporting the market.
U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 0.1 percent to $50.43 per barrel, near its Tuesday high of $50.53, a level last seen in October.
Global benchmark Brent futures LCOc1 was little changed at $51.47, close to the eight-month high of $51.55 per barrel hit earlier in the session.