US stocks have extended their winning streak after some better than expected data from China added to a run of good news on the health of the global economy.
Traders in the United States cheered data from China's General Administration of Customs showing exports were stronger than forecast last month, up 7.2 per cent compared with the same time last year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.9 per cent to close at 15,063, the S&P 500 advanced by 1 per cent to 1,672 and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at a 13-year high, up 1.25 per cent to 3,706.
In Europe, stocks retreated as concerns about the timing and nature of a strike on Syria gave investors pause.
In London, the FTSE 100 lost 0.25 per cent to 6,531, dragged down by losses for energy company BG, which tumbled 5.1 per cent after slashing its production guidance for 2014 blaming delays at projects in Egypt and Norway.
The CAC 40 in France slipped by 0.2 per cent to 4,040 and the DAX in Germany closed flat at 8,276.
In commodity trade, the spot price of gold was lower at $US1,386.19 an ounce.
West Texas Crude fell from a two-year high to close at $US109.57 a barrel, as investors weighed developments in Syria and in Singapore, Tapis crude was fetching $US121.19 a barrel.
In currency trade, the US dollar has lost ground as traders bet on the outcome of the September 17-18 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
The US Federal Reserve is expected to announce when and by how much it will reduce its $US85 billion monthly stimulus program after the policy meeting.
At 9:40am (AEST) the Australian dollar was buying 92.29 US cents, 69.6 euro cents, 92 Japanese yen, 58.8 British pence and just over $NZ1.15.