Month after month, the global economic outlook has been nothing but bleak. But now, could we be about to turn a corner?
Japanese stocks rose to a six-month high in Thursday trading, and off the back of that European markets have started out strongly.
But, there is still grim news for some - with the troubled US carmaker General Motors announcing a loss of $6bn for the first three months of this year.
Hamish Macdonald reports from London.