World stocks rose for a second straight day on Wednesday thanks to favorable U.S. and European corporate earnings, while the euro slipped on uncertainty over whether debt-laden Greece would need additional financial aid.
Oil prices and the euro dipped after China's April inflation came in slightly above expectations, but other data, including industrial output, suggested slower activity and less room for aggressive tightening to curb growth.
British supermarket group J Sainsbury
The corporate news has generally been very positive, said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.
You can see a trail of issues such as U.S. debt, the end of QE2, sorting out the euro, but for the time being, people are enjoying a corporate spring. MSCI world equity index <.MIWD00000PUS> rose 0.2 percent, coming within 10 points of a three-year high set last week.
The Thomson Reuters global stock index <.TRXFLDGLPU> gained 0.15 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> erased earlier gains after HSBC
Emerging stocks <.MSCIEF> rose 0.6 percent.
U.S. crude oil fell 0.2 percent to $103.73 a barrel, having suffered its worst weekly sell-off on record last week.
The Bund futures fell 14 ticks.
Speculation over whether Greece will receive more bailout funding was likely to keep peripheral trading volatile, as investors continue to price in a high probability that the country will eventually need to restructure its debt.
The dollar <.DXY> was steady against a basket of major currencies while the euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.4372.
I think giving Greece more financing is the only option they can take. But the euro will be driven by news headlines for now. It can easily move 100 pips in either direction, a trader at a Japanese brokerage said.
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told Le Figaro newspaper it is hard to see Greece returning to debt markets in 2012 and Europe would have to keep financing countries in difficulty to avoid a costly restructuring.
(Additional reporting by Brian Gorman; editing by Stephen Nisbet)