Global markets were mainly stronger overnight, as investors looked ahead to two events sure to move markets this week – a Federal Reserve meeting and a court decision on whether Germany can help support its struggling neighbours.
In London the FTSE was little changed, with the index giving up one point to settle at 5792 whilst the French CAC (+0.9%) and German DAX (+1.3%) enjoyed strong gains.
In the US the Dow Jones industrial average rose 69 points (+0.5%) to close at 13,323.36.
The average of 30 large company stocks has already gained 1.8% to start September, a month which is usually dismal for stocks. Bank of America led, rising 5%.
In other US trading, the S&P added 0.3% whilst the tech-heavy NADAQ closed largely unchanged.
The US Commerce Department reported that exports to Europe dropped 11.7% in July, stoking concerns that troubles there could smother the recovery.
Overall, US exports fell 1% to 183.3 billion US dollars, lowered by weaker sales of autos, telecom equipment and heavy machinery.
The US dollar fell against all of its 16 most-traded counterparts before the Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting tonight amid speculation it will buy bonds to boost the economy.
Oil rose for a fifth day on speculation that the Federal Reserve will announce additional measures to stimulate the economy, increasing fuel demand.
Crude for October delivery gained 63 cents (+0.7%), to $97.17 a barrel on the NYMEX – the highest settlement since August 22.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of Westpac Consumer Sentiment (10:30am, AEST) and Housing Starts (11:30am, AEST).