World stocks were mostly higher Wednesday on improved U.S. and Chinese economic activity.

In Europe, Germany's DAX added 0.2 percent to 9,924.56 and France's CAC-40 was up 0.1 percent at 4,464.88. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 6,813.19.

Futures augured gains on Wall Street. Dow and S&P 500 futures were each up 0.1 percent.

Traders were encouraged by surveys showing China's manufacturing activity improved in June for the first time in six months. That came on top of the government's decision to expand credit by allowing banks to lend more relative to the size of their deposits.

Both developments "bode well for growth," said Credit Agricole CIB economist Dariusz Kowalczyk in a report.

In the United States, the Institute for Supply Management said manufacturing activity grew in June, though at a slower pace than in May.

"Markets saw this as a positive," said CMC Markets in a report.

Asia's heavyweight, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo, gained 0.3 percent to 15,369.97 while China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 percent to 2,059.42.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.5 percent at 23,549.62 and Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.5 percent to 9,484.96. Seoul's Kospi added 0.8 percent to 2,015.28 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.5 percent to 5,455.40.

India's Sensex was up 1.2 percent to 25,831.49. Southeast Asian markets also rose.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery added 7 cents to $105.41 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 3 cents on Tuesday to close at $105.34.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 101.42 yen from 101.50 yen late Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.3665 from $1.3682.