Global markets rebounded overnight following the latest Fed meeting minutes, which revealed optimism among officials that the U.S. economy is gradually improving.
The minutes indicated officials were comfortable with the direction of US growth, and they also considered options on tightening monetary policy but refrained from spelling out how or when this would occur.
Interestingly, the Fed attributed the recent drop in long-term US bond yields to portfolio reallocation by large institutional investors, rather than signs of a broader economic slowdown.
The generally positive tone of the minutes sparked nearly one percent gains on the three major US indices, which ended up recovering their prior session losses.
Oil was a big mover in commodity markets, soaring two percent after US supply data revealed a much bigger-than-expected drop in weekly crude inventories.
Conversely, gold settled at its lowest in almost two weeks as the Fed minutes suggested the time for higher US interest rates is drawing nearer.
Of the major currency pairs, the Aussie dollar weakened versus its US counterpart after yesterday’s disastrous consumer confidence data hosed down expectations of an RBA rate hike any time soon.
The British pound continued to strengthen against the greenback, after minutes from the latest Bank of England meeting fuelled speculation the strengthening U.K. economy could soon force the BOE to raise interest rates.