US stocks advanced overnight, with the Dow Jones printing its highest price since 2007 as faster growth in manufacturing fuelled optimism in the world’s biggest economy.
Across the Atlantic the French and German markets were closed, although the UK’s FTSE 100 was open and traded higher, adding 74 points (+1.3%) to settle at 5812.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 66 points (+0.5%) to settle at 13279, whilst the S&P 500 (+0.6%) and (+0.1%) also enjoyed gains.
Growth in American factory output unexpectedly accelerated in April to the fastest pace in almost a year, with the Institute for Supply Management’s index increasing to 54.8 from 53.4 and topping the median economist projection for a drop to 53.
The report eased concern that manufacturing is slowing after data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the ISM-Chicago trailed estimates yesterday.
The Australian dollar slid 1% to $1.0330 and 10-year note yields slipped as low as 3.53% after the nation’s central bank cut interest rates.
Elsewhere, the dollar climbed from a 10-week low against the yen after a US factory gauge unexpectedly advanced in April, easing concern the economic recovery is flagging and damping bets the Federal Reserve will introduce more stimulus.
Gold fell for a second straight day as signs of stronger US industrial growth boosted prospects for the economy and eroded the appeal of the precious metal as a haven. Gold shed 0.1%, to US$1666 an ounce.
Oil climbed to a five-week high after U.S. manufacturing increased at the fastest pace in 10 months, signalling that economic growth will accelerate in the world’s biggest crude-consuming country. Crude put on 1.1% to settle at US$106 a barrel.
In company news, ANZ has reported a 10% rise in net profit to $2.92 billion for 1H FY12 on the back of improved trading conditions.
There is no major local economic data slated for release today.