"We believe the recent pullback (in world stocks) is an opportunity to buy the dip in cyclical assets – which would include all equities (EM and DM)," analysts at JPMorgan said, although US tech stocks remain ultra-expensive.

"We do not believe that the current price of energy will have a significant negative impact on the economy... Even with oil at $130 or $150 equity markets and the economy could function well," pointing to 2010-15 when oil averaged more than $100 a barrel and markets did just fine.

Oil was down nearly 1.5 per cent and gas prices dropped almost 4 per cent, helping European gas futures fall back from record highs.

Gas prices are up more than fivefold since the start of the year, and the huge increase over recent weeks has attracted attention from policymakers across the world.

EU Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, said on Wednesday that the price shock was "hurting our citizens, in particular the most vulnerable households" and that "There is no question that we need to take policy measures".

Britain’s National Grid said the UK faced tight electricity supplies this winter while local media reported that Spain's Energy Minister had summoned the top executives of its three main electricity firms.

Back to the futures

US futures also bounced, with S&P 500 futures rising 0.9 per cent after wild swings on Wednesday fuelled by hopes that congressional Democrats and Republicans could reach a deal to avert a government debt default.

Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said his party would support an extension of the federal debt ceiling into December.

"This means president Biden and Congressional Democrats would be able to finish their fiscal spending package – now estimated at around $1.9-2.2 trillion," said Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed up 1.8 per cent overnight, its biggest one-day rise since August.

Hong Kong led Asia's gains with a 3 per cent bounce off a year low. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.8 per cent and Japan's Nikkei firmed 0.5 per cent to snap eight days of losses.

There was still heavy bleeding in the Chinese property sector debt markets however, with those of Kaisa Group - China's first ever property firm default back in 2015 - slumping as much as 8.2 per cent and some of Greenland Holdings, which has built some of the world's tallest residential towers, dropping to half their face value.

Global markets will next focus on US payrolls data due on Friday, with investors anticipating that a reasonable figure will mean the Federal Reserve will decide at its November meeting to begin tapering its massive stimulus programme.

The dollar was steady, not too far from 12-month highs hit last month against a basket of currencies and holding at a 14-month high against the euro.

The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes was at 1.53 per cent, off Wednesday's 3-1/2-month high of 1.57 per cent. German Bunds hovered at a still negative -0.19 per cent showing little reaction to European Central Bank meeting minutes that revealed it had debated a bigger cut in its asset purchases last month.

"The argument was made that markets were already expecting an end to net asset purchases under the PEPP by March 2022," the accounts showed. "The point was made that, even without the PEPP, the overall monetary policy stance remained highly accommodative."

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