In Europe the CAC (+2.2%) and DAX (+2.4%) enjoyed strong sessions whilst the FTSE was closed for a public holiday.
In the US the gains were similar, with the Dow Jones adding 255 points (+2.3%) to settle at 11539, whilst the broader S&P500 added 2.8% and the Nasdaq jumped 3.3%.
Renewed optimism about the US economy and the less-than-expected impact of Hurricane Irene combined to send the S&P to its highest level in a month.
Positive data also provided a boost, with US personal spending rebounding in July and auto sales rising to the highest level in three months.
In the midst of some of the lowest valuations in some time, the positive data was enough to coax investors back into equities, particularly after Bernanke said late last week that the economy had not deteriorated enough to warrant QE3.
The Swiss franc, Japanese yen and US dollar all retreated against most of their major counterparts amid climbing stock and commodity prices, reducing demand for safe-haven refuge.
Crude oil jumped to its highest level in more than a week amid expectations for higher energy demand. The black gold added US$1.90 to settle at US$87.276 a barrel.
Gold was amongst the few losers, giving up US$5.70 (-0.3%) to settle at US1791.60 an ounce with rising equities eroding some of bullion’s allure.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of building approvals (11:30am, AEST).