Morning Market Analysis: Santa Comes Early

Morning Market Analysis: Santa Comes Early|Morning ASX NewsFinally the international bulls got their act together overnight, sending European and US markets sharply higher.

Strong economic data out of both regions prompted the rally across equity and commodity markets.

In Europe the FTSE added 55 points (+1%) to settle at 5419, whilst the CAC (+2.7%) and DAX (+3.1%) enjoyed even stronger gains.

European stocks posted their biggest rally this month as banks climbed after a report showed German business confidence unexpectedly rose for a second month.

Stateside, the Dow Jones surged 337 points (+2.9%) to settle at 12104, whilst the S&P 500 (+3%) and Nasdaq (+3.2%) enjoyed even stronger gains.

Better-than-estimated housing starts added to expectations the world’s largest economy will weather Europe’s debt crisis.

Our dollar extended yesterday’s gains, rising back above parity to settle at just short of the US$1.01 handle at this morning’s NY close.

The Canadian dollar gained the most in a month against the greenback on the back of a rally in crude oil and equities.

Commodities were stronger with copper (+2.1%), crude (+3.6%) and gold (+1.3%) all posting solid gains.

In company news, Transurban has signed a much-anticipated agreement with the NSW government to upgrade the M5 South West Motorway.

Today’s session will bring data in the form of the Melbourne Institute leading index, slated for release at 10:30am, AEDT.