World stocks rose for a third day running on Wednesday as better-than-expected U.S. company earnings and firm data raised expectations that the economy would keep strong momentum into the first quarter.
Government bond futures eased ahead of the release of the European Commission's opinion on Greece's deficit-cutting plan, where a tick of approval could help Greek debt recover further.
Upbeat housing and manufacturing data and robust earnings from the consumer and industrial sector in the United States on Tuesday followed last week's figures showing the world's biggest economy grew at its fastest pace in more than six years in the final three months of 2009.
All pointed to signs that massive government stimulus is feeding through into the real economy, which bodes well for risky assets such as stocks and higher-yielding currencies.
We are seeing a cautious return of risk appetite as it feels like some of the recent moves have been overdone. The market is focusing on constructive data from the U.S. and the euro zone and looking to pick up currencies such as the Aussie and euro as a result, said Ray Farris, currency strategist at Credit Suisse. MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> rose 0.6 percent, having hit a three-month low on Monday, before recovering to end up on the day.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> gained around a third of a percent on the day.
Emerging stocks <.MSCIEF> rose 1.6 percent, while Chinese stocks <.SSEC> jumped 2.4 percent, their biggest gain in six weeks.
U.S. crude oil rose 0.4 percent at $77.52 a barrel.
The dollar <.DXY> fell 0.3 percent against a basket of major currencies, while the euro rose a quarter percent to $1.3999.
A survey by Markit showed the euro zone's dominant service sector expanded at a slower pace in January than in the previous month but firms grew more optimistic about the year ahead.
The Bund future fell 24 ticks.
Ahead of the European Commission verdict on Greece, the premium investors demand to hold Greek government debt rather than benchmark German bunds eased to 343 basis points.
It's G-Day, Calyon said in a note to clients.
This is the first official comment on the Greek government's budget proposal and should form the basis for last minute behind-the-scenes discussions before the fiscal plan is rubber stamped at the EcoFin meeting in two week's time.
(Additional reporting by Neil Armstrong, editing by Mike Peacock)