Solid gains in Europe petered out overnight, with US markets closing little changed.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 added 33 points (+0.6%) to settle at 5865, whilst the French CAC (+0.7%) and German DAX (+0.9%) also enjoyed solid gains.
European markets were broadly higher. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%, closing at the highest level since March, after better-than-expected growth readings from the Continent’s two largest economies.
German gross domestic product increased 0.3% in the second quarter, beating expectations. In France, GDP was flat compared with the first quarter but topped forecasts for a slight contraction.
In the US the Dow added just three points to settle at 13172, whilst the S&P was flat and the NASDAQ slipped 0.2%.
A handful of high-end retailers delivered strong quarterly earnings and July’s retail-sales report topped estimates.
The Commerce Department report showed retail sales rose 0.8% in July, handily outpacing expectations. It was the biggest jump since February.
Business inventories rose slightly in June, matching expectations, a signal that companies aren’t yet willing to store extra goods.
The National Federation of Independent Business’s small-business optimism index slipped in July from June, as worries about earnings and future business activity offset rising sentiment about new-job creation.
The US dollar rose to an almost one-month high versus the yen as the first increase in US retail sales in four months sent Treasury yields to the highest since May, boosting the allure of dollar-denominated assets.
Crude snapped a two-day decline in New York on better-than-expected economic reports from the US and Germany.
Oil for September delivery advanced 70 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $93.43 a barrel on the NYMEX. Prices are up 20% from this year’s settlement low of $77.69 on June 28.
In company news CBA has reported a full year profit of $7.09 billion, up 11% from the previous year.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of Westpac Consumer Sentiment (10:30am, AEST) and the wage price index (11:30am, AEST).