US markets carried their positive momentum into the overnight session, a day after US politicians agreed to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government.
It was a record breaking night for the S&P500, which reached a new all-time high as investors breathed a sigh of relief over the US narrowly avoiding a default.
The news wasn’t as good for the Dow, which was pressured by weak quarterly results from IBM and Goldman Sachs.
The Dow slipped two points to 15372, whilst the S&P500 rose 12 points (+0.7%) to 1733 and the Nasdaq climbed 24 points (+0.6%) to 3863.
On the economic front, US jobless claims were more or less in line with estimates, whilst manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area region grew more than expected this month.
The key theme in FX markets was across-the-board US dollar selling, with traders now expecting the Fed will hold off on stimulus tapering amid concerns over the impact of the budget fight on the US economy.
Gold was a big mover in commodity markets, surging 3.2% to US$1323 an ounce on the Fed stimulus hopes.
Elsewhere, oil slid 1.6% to US$100.76 a barrel after a supply report showed a bigger than expected jump in weekly US crude stockpiles.
The Aussie was a standout performer against its US counterpart, surging 0.9% to 96.36 US cents – its highest level since mid-June.
The local unit is likely to be influenced today by a deluge of important Chinese economic data, including GDP and industrial production, all of which are due out at 1:00pm, AEDT.
RBA Governor Glenn Stevens is also due to make an important speech at midday today.