London and Frankfurt opened higher while Shanghai and Hong Kong also advanced. Tokyo declined.
Wall Street futures sank after the benchmark S&P 500 index on Tuesday lost 0.9 per cent amid concern inflation might accelerate, hampering an economic recovery and dragging on share prices.
More U.S. inflation data were due out Wednesday. Investor concern is increasing after prices rose for industrial materials including copper and crude oil.
“The source of the market's angst is inflation, and whether it is transitory or here to stay,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report.
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5 per cent to 6,982.82 while the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.2 per cent to 15,150.89. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced less than 0.1 per cent to 6,267.93.
On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.4 per cent.
On Tuesday, the S&P 500 lost 0.9 per cent and the Dow sank 1.4 per cent in its worst day since February. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.1 per cent.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 per cent to 3,462.75 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo tumbled 1.6 per cent to 28,147.51. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 0.8 per cent to 28,231.04.
The Kospi in Seoul fell 1.5 per cent to 3,161.66 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney sank 0.7 per cent to 7,044.90.
India's Sensex opened down 0.8 per cent at 7,044.90. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.
Big tech companies were among the biggest decliners Tuesday for a second day. Tech stocks get most of their valuation from future profits. Those might be less valuable if they are eroded by inflation.
Investors have worried about inflation since bond yields spiked earlier this year, though yields have mostly stabilised since then. The yield on the 10-year Treasury held edged up to 1.62 per cent Wednesday from 1.61 per cent on Tuesday.
The Federal Reserve has said the U.S. economy will be allowed to “run hot” to ensure a recovery is established. Despite that, investors worry central banks might feel pressure to pull back stimulus and raise near-zero interest rates.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained 31 cents to USD 65.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 36 cents on Tuesday to USD 65.28. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 30 cents to USD 68.85 per barrel in London. It rose 23 cents the previous session to USD 68.55.
The dollar gained to 108.75 yen from Tuesday's 108.65. The euro fell to USD 1.2136 from USD 1.2152.