World stocks marched higher again on Thursday, drawing support from European auto sales and German trade data, while expectations that the first U.S. interest rate increase will come in the latter part of the year continue to grow.
Global equities pulled back from recent record highs on Wednesday, with investors turning cautious after underwhelming euro zone PMI data and ahead of central bank meetings.
U.S. stocks closed lower on the last trading day of February after mixed U.S. economic data on a day when European stocks hit records and oil prices rebounded for their first monthly gain since June.
The dollar index slipped on Friday, pegged back by month-end selling, but was still on track for its eighth straight month of gains on better data and comments from Federal Reserve officials that bolstered bets for a rate rise this year.
European shares rose to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, extending a two-month rally fueled by the European Central Bank's money printing program which starts in the coming weeks.
Oil prices fell Friday, tumbling as the dollar strengthened and as a supply glut in top consumer, the United States, trumped worries about falling production from Libya.