Europe's brighter outlook follows steps taken recently by the European Central Bank to stem the crisis. On Wednesday before U.S. markets opened, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat at 5,871 while Germany's DAX was down 0.1% at 7,342. The CAC-40 in France was also 0.1% lower at 3,508.
Earlier in Asia, stocks were generally fairly buoyant after the Bank of Japan's easing announcement.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.2% to 20,841.91 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5% to 4,418.40. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.2% to 2,007.88. The Shanghai Composite Index rose for the sixth straight trading day, up 0.4% to 2,067.83. The Shenzhen Composite Index gained 0.7% to 865.73.
In currency trading, the BOJ announcement had little impact. The dollar was up only around 0.1% on the day at 78.93 yen. Meanwhile, the euro was more or less flat around $1.30. The euro has enjoyed a stellar few weeks as concerns over Europe's debt crisis have eased somewhat, largely on the back of a new bond-buying plan from the European Central Bank.
In the oil markets the benchmark New York rate was down 37 cents at $94.92 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Contributing: Associated Press