After the previous session’s rout, international markets bounced back overnight to recover some of the lost ground.
In Europe the FTSE added 26 points (+0.4%) to settle at 5791, whilst the CAC (+0.9%) and DAX (+0.6%) also gained ground.
In Germany, factory orders fell by 2.7% in January taking the annual contraction to 4.9%. A sharp fall in foreign orders was the main driver of the weakness: foreign orders fell by 5.5%, while domestic orders rose by 0.9%.
Other news out of the region included the following;
– Greek Finance Minster confirms Thursday deadline for debt
– Ireland is to request postponing promissory note payments
– Rumours that 8-9 Greek pension funds have agreed to take part in the debt swap but four refused to do so
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 78 points (+0.6%) whilst the S&P 500 (+0.7%) and Nasdaq (+0.9%) enjoyed even stronger gains.
The US ADP National Employment index showed that 216,000 new private sector jobs were created in February, close to market forecasts.
The Aussie dollar remained below the 1.06 handle and is currently buying US$1.0565, whilst the euro rallied from a two-week low against the greenback as investors with 58% of the Greek bonds eligible have indicated they’ll participate in the bailout.
Oil added US$1.46 to US$106.16 a barrel on the US jobs data, hopes the Greek debt swap deal would work and an easing US dollar.
Base metals were generally stronger, with investors drifting back to equities and commodities. Lead rose 1.1% and nickel gained 0.8%. Gold also advanced, adding 0.8% to settle at $1688.
Today’s session will bring us important data in the form of employment change and the unemployment rate, at 11:30am, AEDT.