Most global markets strengthened overnight as Wall Street resumed trading following the President’s Day holiday in the US.
It was a lacklustre session overall in the US, with markets trading sideways after the latest batch of economic data underwhelmed expectations.
New York-area manufacturing activity dropped much more than expected in February, whilst homebuilder confidence also fell sharply this month.
The data was the latest in a string of results that has raised concerns of a slowdown in US economic growth.
The Dow fell 24 points (-0.2%) to 16130, whilst the Nasdaq rose 29 points (+0.7%) to 4273 and the S&P500 climbed two points (+0.1%) to 1841.
There were some strong gains in commodity markets, with oil surging two percent on expectations the cold US winter conditions will spur energy demand.
In currency markets, the US dollar rose against the yen after the Bank of Japan yesterday expanded a stimulus program to financial institutions.
Against other currencies, however, the greenback remained under pressure due to the mostly weak US economic data.
In economic news, the CB leading index and wage price index are due for release at 10:00am and 11:30am AEDT, respectively.