In London the FTSE 100 added 11 points (+0.2%) to settle at 5779, whilst the CAC (+0.7%) and DAX (+0.2%) also gained ground. Stateside, the Dow Jones added 72 points (+0.5%) to settle at 13486, whilst the S&P (+1%) and NASDAQ (+1.4%) enjoyed even stronger gains.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 23,000 to 359,000, significantly more than the 4,000 drop that had been expected. The final read on second-quarter gross domestic product showed growth of 1.3%, weaker than an expected 1.7%.
August durable goods tumbled 13.2%, much more than the 5% drop expected. Pending home sales fell 2.6% in August, compared with expectations for flat growth, due to a shortage of lower-priced inventory in most of the country.
The euro strengthened against the US dollar after Spain announced its fifth austerity package, adding to speculation that it will meet the requirements for a European financial bailout to contain its debt crisis.
Gold climbed to a record priced in euros and Swiss francs on concern that central banks’ moves to boost economies will devalue currencies, spurring demand for the metal as an alternative investment.
Oil advanced the most in eight weeks on the possibility China’s government will bolster stimulus efforts and as Spain approved a 2013 austerity budget.
Crude oil for November delivery rose $1.87 to settle at $91.85 a barrel on the NYMEX, the biggest gain since 3 August. Today’s session will bring us data in the form of private sector credit, at 11:30am, AEST.