Global markets continued their upward trajectory overnight, albeit in fairly modest and orderly fashion.
The UK’s FTSE was the only major index not to participate in the move higher, shedding five points to settle at 5941.
The French CAC (+0.4%) and German DAX (+0.9%) flew the flag for the European region however.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 59 points (+0.4%) to settle 13253, whilst the S&P 500 (+0.6%) and tech-heavy Nasdaq (+0.5%) enjoyed similar gains.
The Empire State manufacturing index rose from 19.53 to 20.21 in March – the highest since June 2010, whilst the Philadelphia Fed index rose from 10.2 to 12.5 in March – the highest since April 2011.
US producer prices rose 0.4% in February with the core rate (excludes food and energy) up 0.2% – both in line with forecasts. New claims for unemployment insurance in the US fell by 14,000 to a 4-year low of 351,000 in the latest week.
The Aussie dollar firmed a touch and is back trading above the US$1.05 handle, whilst the yen climbed from an 11-month low against the greenback as investors wagered that its largest three-day decline since November may have happened too quickly.
Oil fell again after rumours circulated (later denied) that Britain and the US agreed to release oil from strategic reserves later in the year. Oil closed 0.3% lower to US$105.11 a barrel.
Base metals were generally stronger as the US dollar lost ground against major currencies, whilst gold also rebounded from an 8-week low, up US$6.60 (+1%) to US$1,659.50 an ounce.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.