European stocks rose, pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Index toward its longest streak of monthly gains since 1997, as Italy formed a new government and as U.S. consumer spending unexpectedly increased in March.
In London the UK’s FTSE 100 added 32 points (+0.5%) to settle at 6458, whilst the German DAX added 59 points (+0.8%) at 7874.
Stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.7% to 1594, topping a record close of 1,593.37 reached on April 11. The Dow Jones increased 106 points (+0.7%), to 14,819.
The S&P 500 has climbed 1.6% in April and is poised for its sixth straight month of gains, the longest streak of advances since September 2009.
The bull market in U.S. equities has entered its fifth year as the S&P 500 surged 136% from a 12-year low in 2009, driven by better-than-estimated corporate earnings and three rounds of monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Gold futures rose on speculation that the Federal Reserve will maintain bond purchases to bolster the U.S. economy, while demand for coins and jewellery climbed.
Gold futures for June delivery gained 0.9% to settle at $1,467.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The price headed for the biggest monthly drop since December 2011 after entering a bear market on April 12.
Crude rose to the highest level in more than two weeks as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index approached a record on optimism that central banks will maintain economic stimulus to bolster growth. Oil for June delivery climbed $1.50 to $94.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since April 10.
The US dollar fell against 14 of its 16 most-traded peers before the Federal Reserve opens a two-day meeting tomorrow amid bets it will maintain bond purchases under quantitative easing for the foreseeable future.
Today’s session will bring us data in the form of Private Sector Credit, at 11:30am, AEST.