Global markets advanced on Friday night, after Federal Chairman Bernanke said the central bank stands ready to bolster the economy if necessary, although he stopped short of giving an explicit signal of more monetary easing.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 slipped eight points, bucking the global trend, to settle at 5711. The French CAC (+1%) and German DAX (+1%) fared much better.
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on 90 points (+0.7%) to settle at 13090m whilst the S&P (+0.5%) and NASDAQ (+0.6%) also pushed higher.
The US Dollar Index fell for a second week as Bernanke defended his unprecedented actions and made the case for further monetary stimulus to counter unemployment of more than 8%.
Oil capped the biggest monthly gain since October on Bernanke’s refusal to rule out more stimulus to boost the economy.
Oil for October delivery increased $1.85 to settle at $96.47 a barrel on the NYMEX. Prices increased 0.3% last week and 9.6% last month.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute inflation gauge (10:30am, AEST), job advertisements (11:30am, AEST) and company operating profits (11:30am, AEST).