After taking a battering in December and suffering a shaky start to 2019, confidence is slowly returning to equity trading floors, though dealers remain on edge.
Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell provided the platform for a rally last week when he said the central bank had no "pre-set" plan for lifting interest rates and was "listening" to markets, signalling that the pace of hikes could slow this year.
Fear of higher borrowing rates was a major cause of last year's stocks losses.
The gains also come after a strong reading on US jobs creation Friday, which soothed worries that the US economy was slowing down, and ahead of the corporate earnings season.
"We will have growth, yes, slowed from the 2018 pace and we will have... earnings, yes, slowed from the 2018 pace, but acceptable for investors and that will allow equity markets to move higher."
The dollar continued to face selling against higher-yielding currencies as a new-found confidence saw investors seek out riskier assets.
The South African rand, Australian dollar and South Korean won were among the best performers.
Oil prices -- which have tumbled in recent months partly because of worries about the impact on demand of the China-US trade war -- were also up with WTI back at about USD 50 for the first time in more than three weeks.
WTI and Brent are up around 10 per cent already this year, having plunged by about a third from their four-year highs touched in early October on supply-and-demand worries.
The gains have also been helped by hopes that OPEC and other major producers including Russia will put the brakes on output this year.
"The macro outlook looks and feels a lot less dire than it did just a couple of weeks ago.
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