Global markets ended last week on a positive note, with gains seen in Europe and the US.
The UK’s FTSE 100 added 28 points (+0.5%) to settle at 5772, whilst the French CAC (+0.5%) and German DAX (+1.2%) also posted gains.
In economic news affecting the region, the International Monetary Fund has secured public commitments of over $US430 billion in funding to help the IMF safeguard economies from the debt crisis in Europe.
Stateside, the Dow Jones put on 65 points (+0.5%) to settle at 13029, whilst the S&P gained just 0.1% and the Nasdaq gave up 0.2%.
The outperformance of the Dow was attributed to better-than-forecast quarterly reports from Microsoft and GE, which pushed the blue-chip index to its first weekly gain this month.
The Aussie dollar firmed on Friday night and is currently trading just below the 1.04 handle, at US$1.037, whilst Canada’s dollar appreciated by the most since March against the greenback as the prospects for higher interest rates attracted buyers.
Crude-oil prices rose 1.1%, to $104.04 a barrel, while gold prices edged up 0.1%, to $1,643 an ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.970%.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form the producer price index, at 11:30am, AEDT.