European finance ministers met on Monday in Brussels, Belgium. (Oliver Hoslet / EPA )
Stock and bond markets in the U.S. were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but trading took place in the rest of the world.
European stocks rose while German bonds declined as European finance ministers met for the first time this year to discuss the debt crisis. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3%, with the volume of shares changing hands 34% less than the 30-day average.
In Japan, the yen rose from a two-year low, strengthening 0.5% to 89.64 yen per dollar. Speculation that the Bank of Japan will increase monetary stimulus has pushed the yen 12% lower versus the dollar in the last three months.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX increased 0.5%. Oil dropped from a four-month high. U.S. natural gas climbed to its highest level since Dec. 7.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose last week to its highest level since 2007 as earnings from companies including General Electric Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. beat analysts' estimates.
"We've had some decent earnings from the U.S., so the positive sentiment that has been in place since the end of last week is mostly intact," said Michael Morris, who oversees $1 billion as head of European equities at Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management in London.
Germany's 10-year bond yield rose 0.04 percentage point, to 1.59%. The euro weakened 0.1% to $1.3314.
The yen gained at least 0.3% against all 16 of its major peers, adding 0.6% versus the euro.
Three shares rose for every two that fell in the Stoxx 600. Cie. Financiere Richemont, the Swiss maker of Cartier jewelry, sank 5.6%, the most in seven months, after reporting third-quarter revenue that missed analysts' estimates. Burberry Group, Britain's largest luxury-goods company, fell 1.4% and France's LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton dropped 1%. Admiral Group advanced 4.9% as Goldman Sachs upgraded the British insurer.
Oil lost 0.1% to $95.47 a barrel. U.S. natural gas increased 1.8% to $3.63 per million British thermal units in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Research in Motion, the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry cellphones, jumped 11% after its chief executive said it was considering strategic options including a sale of its hardware production unit.
The MSCI emerging markets index fell from a two-week high, slipping 0.2%. Russia's Micex index lost 0.2% and Brazil's Bovespa slipped 0.1%, while the Shanghai composite index gained 0.5%. Reliance Industries, India's largest company by market value, led the Sensex 0.3% higher after profit beat analyst estimates.
Malaysia's benchmark gauge tumbled 2.4%, the most since September 2011, on speculation that the government will call for an early election that will result in a weaker grip on power.