On Friday night, global markets closed out the week with modest gains following the release of encouraging US data.
A measure of Chicago-area manufacturing activity in August came in well above expectations, which followed separate data that revealed weak growth in American incomes and a decline in personal spending during July.
Taken together, the numbers indicated the US economy is growing at a healthy pace but weak wage growth and anaemic spending is likely to prevent the Fed from moving too quickly on raising interest rates.
Across the Atlantic, European equities were supported by inflation data that signalled the need for further monetary easing by the ECB.
The better-than-expected Chicago PMI read ignited a rally in oil prices, with additional price support coming from escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia.
In the metals complex, nickel, copper and aluminium climbed amid hopes an improving US economy will strengthen their demand outlook.
The US dollar logged modest gains versus other currencies, whilst the Aussie weakened ahead of tomorrow’s RBA meeting, which is expected to conclude with no change to the official cash rate.