Global markets collectively rallied overnight with strong gains on both sides on the Atlantic.
A strong Spanish bond auction calmed worries about Europe’s sovereign debt issues and investors cheered a round of strong quarterly earnings reports from US companies.
The UK’s FTSE 100 added 101 points (+1.8%) to settle at 5767, whilst the French CAC (+2.7%) and German DAX (+2.7%) enjoyed even stronger gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on 194 points (+1.5%) to settle at 13116, whilst the S&P 500 (+1.6%) and Nasdaq (+1.8%) also performed strongly.
Data showed US home construction falling for a second straight month in March, while the number of new-housing permits rose to their highest level since September 2008.
Separately, industrial production was flat for the second straight month in March while capacity utilization slipped from February, signals that a key engine of the US economy is stalling.
The Aussie dollar firmed a touch and is now buying US$1.04, whilst the yen fell versus most of its 16 most-traded peers as a report showing German investor confidence rose to a two-year high fuelled appetite for riskier assets.
Oil climbed to a two-week high in New York as Spain raised more than its maximum target at a debt auction and the International Monetary Fund bolstered its global growth forecast.
Elsewhere, gold futures advanced from a one-week low as the US dollar declined, increasing demand for the metal as an alternative investment.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute leading index, 10:30am, AEST.