Wall Street had a milestone finish overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above the 16,000-level for the first time.
Some disappointing economic data suggested the United States economy was not yet in a strong enough position for policy makers to start scaling back stimulus measures.
Figures on factory activity in the US mid-Atlantic region indicated the economy was struggling to gain traction.
And the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index had fallen to its lowest level since May.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 109.17 points to 16,010, after testing that level during trade earlier in the week.
The S&P 500 Index rose 14 points to 1,796 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 48 points to 3,969.
Across the Atlantic, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi moved to hose down speculation the central bank was considering an unprecedented policy of making banks pay to deposit cash overnight, in a bid to boost the economy.
London’s FTSE 100 was unchanged at 6,681, while the CAC 40 in France lost 14 points to 4,254 and the German DAX lost six points to 9,196.
The Australian share market was expected to rise solidly at the open; in futures trading, the ASX SPI 200 was up 37 points to 5,338.
The Australian currency was under pressure, after comments by Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens last night.
At 8.25am (AEDT) it was worth 92.2 US cents, 68.4 euro cents, 56.9 British pence, 93.3 Japanese Yen and more than $NZ1.12.
On commodity markets, West Texas Crude oil strengthened to a close of $US95.33 a barrel, in Singapore a barrel of Tapis was also higher at $US118.89 and the spot price of gold edged up to $US1,242.41 an ounce.