US markets bounced back at the start of trading on Thursday following dovish remarks from ECB chief Mario Draghi, amid more or less neutral data on US economic activity.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was rising by 154 points or 0.98% to 15,924, alongside gains of 0.68% and 0.84% for the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500, respectively.
At today's press conference, following the central bank's policy decision, Draghi said that the stance of policy might be reassessed at the governing council's next meeting in early March.
Following Wednesday's market carnage, several pundits suggested stock gauges might be in for a bounce, with some saying that investors had 'thrown in the towel'.
Perhaps the best-regarded lead indicator for US manufacturing conditions, the so-called Philly Fed index pointed to a possible near-term stabilisation in activity levels, Pantheon Macroeconomics said.
Pantheon's chief economist, Ian Sheperdson, also breathed a sigh of relief that initial unemployment claims did not rise more in the latest reference week, as companies moved to shed employees taken on in the run-up to the holidays.
Initial unemployment claims for the seven days ending on 16 January rose by 10,000 to reach 293,000 (Barclays: 285,000), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Asia still under pressure
Elsewhere, the slide in Asian markets showed no signs of letting up after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday he wasn't considering adopting a negative interest rate policy.
Instead, he signalled that any further stimulus would likely be an expansion of the asset purchase programme.
"There are pros and cons of adopting negative interest rates ... The Federal Reserve didn't adopt negative interest rates and yet, its policy succeeded in stimulating the US economy," he said.
Concerns over China's slowing economy also carried on even after the central bank made an aggressive cash injection into the country's financial system.
The People's Bank of China offered 400bn yuan worth of short-term loans to commercial lenders on Thursday through its open-market operations.
European markets were in the black as investors looked ahead to comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.
US oil stocks increased by 4.0m barrels in the latest week, according to the IEA, weighing on WTI oil futures.
was higher versus the pound by 0.21%, as euro/dollar fell 0.61% and dollar/yen bounced back by 0.33%.
In company news, shares
in Travelers were up 0.72% as it announced fourth-quarter earnings fell to $866m, but operating earnings were at $2.90, above analysts' expectations.
Verizon shares were also up by 2.0% after it revealed revenue came in marginally above analysts expectations at $34.25bn.
Bank of New York Mellon reported fourth quarter EPS of 68 cents (consensus: 64 cents).