European stocks closed mostly lower Wednesday, pulling back after their best performance in two weeks in the previous session, as attention turned to the start of corporate bond-buying by the European Central Bank.
U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as oil prices settled at their highest levels in nearly a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, 0.37% rose 66.77 points, or 0.4%, to close at 18,005.05. The S&P 500 Index SPX, 0.33% advanced 6.99 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 2,119.12, a new closing high for the year. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, 0.26% gained 12.89 points, or 0.3%, for a close of 4,974.64. Oil for July delivery CLN6, 0.57% settled at $51.23 a barrel, its highest level since July 2015.
Asian stocks edged up on Thursday after modest gains on Wall Street overnight, while a weaker dollar buoyed commodities such as gold and crude oil.
Investors have been stepping back into riskier assets globally over the past week after last Friday's worse-than-expected U.S. non-farm jobs report. Markets believe the weak job reading sharply reduced the chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this summer, which has taken some steam out of the dollar.
Chinese financial markets will close on Thursday and Friday for the Dragon Boat weekend holiday.
Japan's Nikkei share average fell on Thursday as a strong yen soured the mood and dragged down large-cap shares.
Some small-cap stocks, seen as safe-haven assets for investors cautious before big macro events next week, attracted buyers.
Major exporters lost ground after the dollar dipped 0.2 percent t 106.79 yen, moving back toward Monday's one-month low of 106.35.
Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co both dropped 1.2 percent, while Panasonic Corp stumbled 2.8 percent.