European and US stock markets gained ground Tuesday, as investors brushed aside losses in Asia and weighed the strong economic recovery against rises in virus cases.
The dollar rose in value against the euro and pound as renewed virus curbs saw moves to safer assets.
Dollar-denominated oil prices gained after the previous day's sharp losses, which had been driven by concerns that fresh lockdowns would dampen demand.
OPEC and other major producers will decide whether or not to lift output at their meeting this week, and analysts described the mood as nervous ahead of time.
German inflation data showed meanwhile that the rise in consumer prices had eased a bit in June, to a yearly rate of 2.3 percent, but economics forecast that it could pick up again to between three and four percent this year.
Traders are now looking to key US jobs data later in the week and the beginning of corporate earnings season next month for direction.
The Dow Jones index was higher in afternoon trading.
But Asian stocks retreated as the more contagious Delta virus variant sent infection rates soaring, in turn forcing governments to try and prevent another deadly wave of the disease.
"European stocks are pushing higher on Tuesday, following on from record highs reached on Wall Street, but (there was) a more subdued session in Asia as Covid cases rise," noted Oanda market analyst Sophie Griffiths.
In Australia, the cities of Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin have all been put into lockdown, with leaders in the country also struggling to get its inoculation programme up to speed.
The disease has led to similar measures in South Africa, while Russia, parts of Asia, Europe and South America have also witnessed worrying spikes.
The developments have raised concerns that the forecast global recovery could be knocked off course or at least slowed.
- Key figures at 1600 GMT -
New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 34,365.06 points
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 4,107.51
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,087.55 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.9 percent at 15,690.59 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 6,567.43 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 28,812.61 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.9 percent at 28,994.10 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.9 percent at 3,573.18 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1905 from $1.1930 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3847 from $1.3880
Euro/pound: UP at 85.97 pence from 85.90 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.53 yen from 110.60 yen
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.5 percent at $75.04 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.5 percent at $73.30 per barrel