International equity markets bounced back overnight on the back of better-than-expected earnings results in the US and after Dell agreed to a leveraged buyout worth $24 billion – the largest such buyout since the financial crisis.
The rally was supported by economic data showing that the US non-manufacturing index at 55.2 in January, higher than the median forecast of 55 and signalling expansion.
Furthermore, the eurozone’s services index for January climbed to 48.6 from 47.8 in December, higher than the median forecast of 48.3, signalling a less-than-expected contraction.
In Europe, the UK’s FTSE rose 36 points (+0.6%) to settle at 6283 whilst Germany’s DAX added a further 26 points (+0.4%) to settle at 7665. France’s CAC increased 35 points (+1%) to settle at 3695.
In the US, the Dow Jones added 99 points (+0.7%) to settle at 13979 whilst the S&P increased 16 points (+1%) to settle at 1511. The Nasdaq climbed 40 points (+1.3%) to settle at 3172.
In the commodity space, crude oil futures for March delivery added $0.47 to settle at $96.64 per barrel on the back of the aforementioned positive statistical data in the US.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $2.90 (-0.2%) to settle at $1,673.50 per ounce as optimism in the equities market saw investments shift to riskier alternatives.
In the currency space, the Japanese yen fell against most of its peers after BoJ governor, Mr. Masaaki Shirakawa, said that he will step down from his post on March 19 instead of April 8.
The euro advanced against the US dollar after the region’s banks made early repayments on their debt to the ECB. Today will see the release of the retail sales data (11:30am, AEDT).