The Dow Jones shrugged off surprisingly weak US manufacturing data today to sneak ahead after a choppy start.
The index rose more than 13 points, or 0.15%, to 9,721.95 in early trading, erasing earlier losses.
Insurer Travelers Company topped the winner's list, advancing 1.6%, while construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar and McDonalds also gained more than 1%.
Wal-Mart and Walt Disney fell out of favour, dropping 1.89% and 1.14% respectively.
Meanwhile in the UK, the FTSE extended earlier gains to climb 36 points, or 0.71%, to 5,115.33, with oil firms getting a boost from a G20 summit pledge to maintain economic stimulus measures for as long as required.
Tullow Oil rose 3.78% to £11.82, while BG Group advanced 3% to £10.99.
These gains helped to offset falls in banking shares, with Lloyds Banking Group down 3.6% to 103.25p.
Companies in the travel sector also took a hit, with TUI down 2.86% and British Airways off 2.4%.
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