The winning run on Wall Street continued overnight, as investors reacted positively to the latest updates on the US economy.
US markets opened with initial losses after data revealed the American economy ground to a halt last quarter due to the harsh winter. However April’s private payrolls data prevented a much worse sell-off on Wall Street.
US companies added a larger-than-expected 220,000 jobs last month, raising hopes for a similarly robust non-farm payrolls result this Friday night.
Also helping sentiment was a measure of Chicago-area manufacturing activity for April, which revealed factory output surged at the fastest pace in six months.
The other major focus for investors was the latest US central bank meeting. As expected, the Fed reduced its monthly bond-buying program by another $10 billion, but also noted economic activity picked had up recently.
All-in-all, the data was enough to propel the Dow to a new record closing high for the first time in 2014. The S&P500 came within a whisker of notching its own record high.
Oil was a notable mover in commodity markets, sinking below $100 a barrel.
Concerns of global oversupply were magnified by data showing another rise in weekly US stockpiles and speculation new sanctions against Russia won’t lead to supply disruptions.
Gold was also weaker, as the positive US employment figures dimmed hopes the Fed might delay its timetable for tightening monetary policy.
In currency markets, the greenback weakened against most major currencies whilst the euro climbed after data last night showed eurozone inflation ticking higher in April, lowering hopes of further ECB stimulus.