Global markets collectively rallied overnight on the back of solid US economic data, although investors remain cautious ahead of a two-day European summit.
Investors will be on the lookout for headlines from Europe ahead of a summit in Brussels scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
In Europe the FTSE 100 added 77 points (+1.4%) to settle at 5524, whilst the French CAC (+1.7%) and German DAX (+1.5%) also posted solid gains.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 92 points (+0.7%) to settle at 12627, whilst the broader S&P (+0.9%) and tech-heavy NASDAQ (+0.7%) enjoyed similar gains.
Durable goods orders posted their first gain in three months in May, suggesting that the manufacturing sector stabilized a bit after an early spring slowdown.
Orders for items designed to last at least three years, such as airplanes and televisions, rose 1.1%, better than expectations for a 0.4% increase.
The Aussie dollar firmed overnight and is currently buying US$1.0090, whilst the euro approached the lowest level against the greenback in more than two weeks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel dimmed expectations European leaders will solve the region’s debt crisis when they meet tomorrow.
Oil rose to a one-week high on signs the US economy is recovering, easing concern that demand from the world’s biggest crude-consuming country will decline.
Crude oil for August delivery advanced 85 cents to $80.21 a barrel on the NYMEX, the highest settlement in a week.
Gold advanced for the second time in three days on speculation that China may take more steps to boost economic growth.
In company news, Metcash has announced a $325 million capital raising, the new shares will be issued at $3.46.
The funds will be used to pursue growth opportunities through acquisitions, as well as provide financial flexibility to take advantage of any future opportunities that may appear.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of HIA new home sales (tentative).