US markets put on modest gains overnight, building on their previous advance as investors reacted positively to the latest updates on the global economy.
Wall Street opened lower after data revealed initial jobless claims rose more-than-expected last week, reversing an early month trend that saw jobless claims reach a seven-year low.
However sentiment recovered after a measure of US manufacturing activity revealed factory output rose at the fastest pace in more than three years this month.
Us retailing companies were a focal point for investors after PC-maker, Hewlett-Packard, reported second quarter sales that missed estimates and said it would eliminate up to 16,000 jobs.
In commodity markets, oil gave back some of its recent gains following the disappointing US jobless claims figures. Also, natural gas futures tumbled as an increase in U.S. supplies exceeded market expectations.
Gold found strength from reports of more fighting in Ukraine and the worsening political crisis in Thailand. Elsewhere, copper climbed on the back of yesterday’s surprisingly positive Chinese manufacturing data.
In the currency space, the greenback logged widespread gains versus its major counterparts as the positive US manufacturing numbers fuelled expectations the Fed will move towards a tightening bias.
Conversely, the euro was pressured by data showing some more deceleration in eurozone manufacturing growth this month.