World Bulletin / News Desk
Asian and European stock markets mostly rebounded Friday from a sell-off the previous day, while the dollar and pound extended gains on growing expectations of hikes in US and British interest rates.
But they shifted back into buying mode Friday, with Frankfurt, London and Paris pushing higher ahead of the weekend.
European investor sentiment was also buoyed after eurozone ministers struck a long-delayed deal with Greece on Thursday to unlock badly-needed rescue cash.
Meanwhile, Tokyo was also boosted by a surge in the dollar against the yen.
The greenback has rallied around two percent against the yen from lows touched before the Federal Reserve on Wednesday lifted borrowing costs and indicated further tightening of monetary policy.
The central bank also outlined plans to suck cash out of the financial system by scaling back the bonds on its balance sheet.
Tokyo's Nikkei index closed up 0.6 percent, with the yen weakening after the Bank of Japan refused to alter its accommodative monetary policy.
However, governor Haruhiko Kuroda is facing pressure to provide some guidance on its future plans as the economy improves and concerns grow about a widening gap between US and Japanese rates.
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.