Global markets continued to push higher overnight, propped up by more positive US company earnings results.
Investors shrugged off data showing US consumer confidence surprisingly falling this month, and a separate report showing American house price growth slowed in February for the fourth consecutive month.
Instead the focus was on upbeat earnings from companies including Merck and Sprint.
There was also a rebound in Facebook and other high-growth shares, but Twitter plummeted after the bell after the micro blogging site reported weaker-than-expected subscriber growth in the last quarter.
In commodity markets, oil climbed for a second session as traders weighed the likelihood of supply disruptions from Russia against data this week, which is likely to show another rise in weekly US crude stockpiles.
However gold fell slightly as the rise in global equities, and an upward revision to last month’s US consumer confidence read, dulled the precious metal’s safe haven appeal.
Among the currencies, the euro came under pressure as a weaker-than-expected reading on German inflation raised speculation tonight’s eurozone inflation data will also underwhelm expectations.
The greenback was generally stronger, as traders looked ahead to two crucial economic data releases in the US tonight; one being first-quarter economic growth and the second being the Fed meeting for April.