Most of the major global indices strengthened overnight on hopes for a continuation of the Fed’s stimulus measures.
In the US, the Dow hit a new all-time high on the belief stimulus tapering will be pushed out further if, as expected, Friday night’s non-farm payrolls data reveals only modest job gains in October.
The Dow jumped 129 points (+0.8%) to 15747, the S&P500 climbed seven points (+0.4%) to 1770 whilst the Nasdaq slipped eight points (-0.2%) to 3932.
Across the Atlantic, most European markets closed higher after a measure of services activity in the eurozone rose more than expected in October.
Another survey showed growth in eurozone business activity slowed last month, although the slowdown was less severe than originally thought.
The UK FTSE dropped 0.1% to 6742, but the French CAC advanced 0.8% to 4287 and the German DAX rose 0.4% to 9041.
There was a strong rebound in commodity markets, with oil surging 1.6% to US$94.89 a barrel after data showed a smaller-than-expected climb in weekly US crude stockpiles.
Gold settled up 0.8% to US$1318 an ounce, buoyed a weaker US dollar.
The greenback was pressured by a Federal Reserve economic report that suggested zero interest rates in the US should be maintained for longer than expected.
The Aussie dollar recorded modest gains ahead of today’s October jobs numbers, which are expected to show a slight uptick in the nation’s unemployment rate.
The jobs data is scheduled for release at 11:30am, AEDT.