Major global stock markets closed higher in Friday trading, buoyed by upbeat economic data from the US and China that offset worries on further interest rate hikes from central banks.
The US services sector, which accounts for more than two thirds of the economy, grew in February, as new orders and employment climbed to their best levels in over a year, which is an indication that the activity continued to grow in the first quarter.
The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index inched down to 55.1 in February, from 55.2 in January. A PMI above 50 represents an expansion in activity, while anything below that is a contraction.
The Arizona-based institute said companies were "mostly positive about business conditions".
However, the resilience of the world's largest economy is widely seen as a reason for the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates.
The Fed raised interest rates last month — the eighth time since 2022 — by 25 basis points, while indicating that more increases were to come. Its next meeting is scheduled from March 21-22.
On Friday, Thomas Barkin, the president of the Richmond Fed, said the US central bank should keep raising interest rates, maintaining them at a high level to move inflation lower over time.
"From a technical standpoint, the bullish trend remains intact but looks vulnerable due to potentially stronger Federal Reserve hawks," Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, wrote in a note.
Meanwhile, in China, the second-largest economy, activity continues to grow after Beijing in December began easing Covid restrictions.
This week's Caixin purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed a reading of 55.0 in February, from 52.9 in January, which was a second straight monthly increase.
Wall Street rallied on Friday, capping a volatile trading week and pushing all three major indices in the black. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite led gains, settling 2 per cent higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled 1.2 per cent higher to post its first weekly advance since late January, while the S&P 500 rose 1.6 per cent to snap a three-week losing run.
For the week, the Nasdaq rose 2.6 per cent, the Dow climbed 1.7 per cent and the S&P 500 added 1.9 per cent. Year-to-date, the Dow has increased 0.7 per cent, underperforming against the Nasdaq and S&P 500, which have gained 11.7 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively.
In Europe, Frankfurt's Dax closed 1.6 per cent higher to lead gains, driven by a 10.6 per cent rise in Volkswagen, the German automaker's biggest gain in more than three months.
The world's biggest car company by revenue reported a 2.6 per cent rise in profit to €15.8 billion ($16.8 billion) and a 11.8 surge in revenue to €279.2 billion for 2022 on stronger deliveries.
The Paris CAC 40 rose 0.9 per cent, while Britain's FTSE 100 was flat.
Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 settled 1.6 per cent higher, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.7 per cent and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5 per cent.
In commodities, oil prices increased at the end of trading on Friday, reversing earlier losses to post their best closing marks in three weeks, amid hopes that demand from the world's top importer, China, will improve further.
Brent added $1.08 to settle at $85.83 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate rose $1.52 to end at $79.68 a barrel.
Gold, meanwhile, gained $14.10, or about 0.8 per cent, to settle at $1,854.60 an ounce.
Gold purchases by central banks swung to an annual gain in January, collectively adding 31 tonnes of the key commodity to global reserves, the World Gold Council said in its monthly update on Thursday.