Global stocks marched higher overnight, on rising optimism about Greece’s prospects to remain in the eurozone, which offset a disappointing reading on US consumer confidence.
Worries about Spanish debt lingered, however.
Egan-Jones Ratings downgraded Spain’s credit rating for the third time in a month, compounding concerns following the effective nationalization last week of one of the country’s largest banks
In Europe the UKs FTSE 100 put on 35 points (+0.7%) to settle at 5391, whilst the CAC (+1.4%) and DAX (+1.2%) enjoyed even stronger gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones rallied 126 points (+1%) to settle at 12581, whilst the broader S&P (+1.1%) and tech-heavy Nasdaq (+1.2%) enjoyed similar gains.
US consumers were less confident in May than the previous month, according to the Conference Board.
The unexpected drop in consumer confidence marked the measure’s third monthly decline in a row.
Separately, data showed housing prices continued falling in March but not as sharply as in earlier months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index.
The Aussie dollar was little changed overnight and is presently buying US$0.9830, whilst the euro fell to the lowest level since July 2010 against the greenback as investor concern about Spain’s ability to recapitalize troubled banks increased, boosting bets the union’s debt crisis is worsening.
Oil fell for the first time in three days after Egan-Jones Ratings Co. downgraded Spain’s credit, pushing the euro to the lowest level in almost two years.
Crude for July delivery settled at $90.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 13% this month.
Elsewhere, copper gave up 0.2% whilst gold lost 0.9% to settle at US$1557 an ounce.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of retail sales and construction work done (11:30am, AEDT).