After taking a pounding in the previous couple of session, global markets bounced back overnight, as a bounce in gold prices, upbeat US earnings reports and strong US housing data bolstered sentiment.
It wasn’t all good news however, with European stocks falling for a third straight session as German investor confidence declined more than forecast and the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth outlook. In London the UK’s FTSE 100 shed 39 points (-0.6%) to settle at 6305, whilst in Germany the DAX gave up 30 points (-0.4%) to close at 7683.
Stateside, the Dow Jones added 158 points (+ 1.1%) to 14756.78. The S&P 500 rose 22 points (+1.4%) to 1575 with all 10 sectors in positive territory. The bounce from the previous session’s big declines saw stocks return to the kind of resilience that has impressed investors in recent months.
The gains marked the fifth positive session out of the past seven for the major market benchmarks and left the Dow up 13% in 2013 and the S&P 500 up 10%.
The Commerce Department reported that construction of new homes jumped by more than economists had expected to the highest level since the financial crisis. March industrial production rose more than expected.
Gold rebounded from the biggest drop in 33 years as BlackRock said sales didn’t reflect fundamentals and an Asian central banker said policy makers may take the opportunity to buy.
Gold futures for June delivery gained 1.9% to close at $1,387.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York, the biggest gain since September 13. Oil was little change, adding just 1 cent to settle at $88.72 a barrel on the NYMEX.
The yen and US dollar slid against currencies of commodity-exporting nations including New Zealand and South Africa as investors sought higher-yielding assets and gold and U.S. stocks gained.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of the Melbourne Institute leading index, at 10:30am, AEST.