The rally that started in Asia yesterday flowed in Europe and the US overnight with major indces around the world all surging higher.
In the UK the FTSE added 63 points (+1.1%) to settle at 5956, whilst the French CAC (+1.7%) and German DAX (+1.4%) enjoyed even stronger gains.
The German ZEW investor survey soared in March jumping by 17.1 points to 22.3 – the highest level since June 2010.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 218 points (+1.7%) to settle at 13178, whilst the broader S&P 500 (+1.8%) and tech-heavy Nasdaq (+1.9%) enjoyed similar gains.
US retail sales lifted by 1.1% in February, slightly above expectations.
The US Federal Reserve left the federal funds rate unchanged at a range of 0-0.25% and vowed to keep rates exceptionally low until at least 2014. The Fed noted that the economy has been expanding moderately.
The Aussie dollar didn’t really participate in the ‘risk-on’ rally overnight and is holding near US$1.055 this morning, whilst the US dollar gained against the euro and yen as the Federal raised their assessment of the economy and refrained from additional steps to lower borrowing costs.
Oil rose by 37 US cents to US$106.71 a barrel, whilst base metals rose in response to solid economic data out of the US and Europe.
Gold was weaker, shedding 0.7% to settle at US$1675 an ounce.
CSL (36c) goes ex-dividend today.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of Westpac consumer sentiment (10:30am, AEDT), and housing starts (11:30am, AEDT