World markets rose Monday, boosted by signs that German exports are picking up and a pledge by China to increase bank lending to the country's small entrepreneurs.
Benchmark oil rose to near $102 per barrel while the dollar was lower against the euro and the yen.
European shares were mostly higher in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 5,666.73. Germany's DAX rose 0.9 percent to 6,063.44. France's CAC-40 gained 0.5 percent to 3,153.76.
Earlier Monday in Asia, Chinese shares in Hong Kong and the mainland jumped sharply following a weekend government planning conference during which Premier Wen Jiabao promised to channel lending to entrepreneurs who have been battered by weak global demand.
China tightened lending and investment curbs last year to cool its overheated economy but has reversed course in recent months following a slump in global demand that has hurt exporters and led to job losses.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 1.5 percent at 18,865.72. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.9 percent to 2,225.89, while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 3.7 percent. Shares in coal miners, nonferrous metals, oil and financial companies led the gains.
Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9 percent to 1,826.49. In Japan, financial markets were closed for a public holiday.
Investment sentiment also got a lift from Germany, which reported that exports rose to a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent to (EURO)90.7 billion ($115.88 billion) in November.
Still, worries about Europe's debt lingered. Italy's borrowing costs spiked to dangerously high levels Friday. The country is now paying over 7 percent to borrow for 10 years, a sign that investors are concerned the country could default on its debts.
Greece, Portugal and Ireland were forced to seek a bailout after their borrowing rates rose above 7 percent, and Athens is still roiling; Its prime minister recently warned of a possible default on its massive debts if a second emergency bailout from international lenders isn't ironed out soon.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were to meet Monday in Berlin to discuss the European situation.
The euro rose to $1.2761 from $1.2724 late Friday in New York. The dollar fell to 76.92 yen from 77.02 yen.
In energy trading, benchmark crude for February delivery rose 38 cents to $101.96 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 25 cents to settle at $101.56 in New York on Friday.