US markets rebounded from their recent selloff overnight, following the latest updates on the economy and corporate earnings.
American retail sales in March grew at the fastest pace since September 2012, allaying concerns about the health of the consumer-driven US economy.
Also, banking giant, Citigroup, reported better-than-expected earnings. Citi’s numbers eased fears over profitability in the financial sector – fears that were magnified by JP Morgan’s poor quarterly result on Friday night.
The strong growth in US retail sales fuelled further gains in oil, with added support coming from rising tensions between energy-producing Russia and its neighbour Ukraine.
Gold settled at its highest in three weeks amid fears clashes on Ukraine’s eastern border will lead to a wider conflict.
Elsewhere, nickel continued its stellar run following Indonesia’s decision to ban exports of unprocessed ore, which is likely to squeeze global supply of the commodity.
The US retail sales data was generally supportive of the greenback, whilst the Aussie moved past 94 US cents ahead of today’s RBA meeting minutes, which may yield clues on the central bank’s timetable for hiking rates.