The global rally continued overnight, with gains seen on both sides of the pond.
In Europe the FTSE added 30 points (+0.5%) to settle at 5749, whilst the DAX (+0.5%) enjoyed a similar gain but the CAC (-0.1%) slipped lower.
US stocks rose for a third consecutive session as pending home sales increased more than forecast and technology companies rallied on better-than-estimated earnings.
Benchmark indexes started the session lower after Labor Department data showed 388,000 Americans filed jobless claims last week, 13,000 more than the median economist estimate.
The Dow Jones put on 114 points (+0.9%) to settle at 13205, whilst the S&P 500 (+0.7%) and Nasdaq (+0.7%) enjoyed similar gains.
The Aussie dollar reached up towards the 1.04 handle but couldn’t maintain the momentum, slipping lower to currently be buying US$1.0360.
Elsewhere, the euro fell after Standard & Poor’s cut Spain’s sovereign debt rating, adding to concern the region’s financial woes are spreading.
Oil rose to a three-week high after pending US home sales gained more than forecast in March and the US dollar decreased against most major currencies, bolstering the appeal of commodities to investors. Crude gained 0.3% to settle at US$104.37.
Gold rose the most in two weeks on speculation that the Federal Reserve may increase stimulus after more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. Gold put on 1% to settle at US$1658.
In company news, JB Hi-Fi reported that it expects FY12 net profit to be between $100 million – $105 million, down ~8.8% on last year’s results of $109.7 million.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.