European stocks climbed for the most part, as mining shares rallied and Alcoa Inc. began the U.S. earnings season with profit that beat analysts’ estimates. London’s FTSE index added 36 points (+0.6%) to settle at 6313, whilst the German DAX shed 25 points (-0.3%) to settle at 7637.
Stateside, the Dow closed at a record high on a rally in cyclical shares and as earnings season started to heat up.
The Dow advanced 60 points (+0.4%), to 14,673 – a record closing high. The S&P 500 gained six points (+0.4%), to 1,568.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 16 points (+0.5%), to close at 3,238.
The return to near-record levels indicates that investors are again using market declines as buying opportunities. Stocks also got a boost from a promising start to the earnings season.
While only 5% of S&P 500 companies have reported results so far, almost three-quarters of them have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.
crude rose the most in two weeks as the dollar weakened against the euro and the U.S. boosted its 2013 price forecast.
oil for May delivery advanced 84 cents to settle at $94.20 a barrel on the NYMEX. It was the biggest rally since 26 March.
Gold rose to a one-week high and silver jumped the most since January on speculation that central bankers in major economies will take more steps to bolster their economies, boosting demand for the metals as stores of value.
The euro climbed to the highest level versus the yen since 2010 as the Bank of Japan’s effort to double the nation’s monetary base within two years fuelled demand for higher-yielding assets.
On the economic front, today the market will be in receipt of the latest Westpac Consumer Sentiment survey, at 10:30am, AEST.