LONDON (AP) — World stock markets pushed higher Wednesday on signs of a pickup in the U.S. economy and expectations of further stimulus in Japan.
The ADP payrolls firm said private employers added 191,000 jobs in March. The upbeat figure comes ahead of the official jobs report from the U.S. government on Friday. It also follows an upbeat report on U.S. manufacturing activity and data showing factory orders rose the most in five months in February.
European markets closed higher, with Germany's DAX up 0.3 percent to 9,630.80 and Britain's FTSE 100 0.2 percent higher at 6,663.47. France's CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent to 4,434.90.
On Wall Street, the Dow was up 0.1 percent at 16,548.60 and the S&P 500 rose further into record territory, adding 0.2 percent to 1,888.81.
"If sentiment is a key component in driving price around, I should think these markets can continue higher," Chris Weston, IG's chief strategist said in a market commentary.
Earlier, in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 led the gains, rising 1 percent to 14,946.32 after a weak outlook for companies raised hopes the Bank of Japan would launch additional monetary stimulus in coming months.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent to 22,523.94 and South Korea's Kospi edged 0.3 percent higher to 1,997.25.
In China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.6 percent to 2,155.70 as investors continued to shrug off two reports that signaled weakness in manufacturing.
Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent and Indian stocks extended a rally ahead of elections set to start next week, with the Sensex rising 0.4 percent.
In currencies, the euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.3765 and the dollar gained 0.1 percent to 103.79 yen.
Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was down 19 cents at $99.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.