European shares are higher following Larry Summers' withdrawal from the race to become the next Chairman of the Fed, with the increasing prospects of a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis also boosting sentiment.
However, Asian shares are mixed and Chinese stocks slip 0.2% as technical indicators signal that equities are overbought.
The U.S. dollar index is -0.4% as markets contemplate the thought of new favorite Janet Yellen as Fed chief.
"Clearly the dollar doesn't like the idea it could be Yellen at the helm because of the interpretation that QE (stimulus) could be in place for longer," said Rabobank currency strategist Jane Foley.
Gold rallies 0.7%, although oil falls 1%.
Japan closed. Hong Kong +1.5%, India +0.15%.
EU Stoxx 50 +0.8%, London +0.8%, Paris +0.8%, Frankfurt +1.1%, Milan +0.7%, Madrid +0.8%.
U.S. stock futures: Dow +0.5%, S&P +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.1%.