SYDNEY -- U.S. markets rose overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing 0.6%, the S&P 500 Index also up by 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rising by 0.8%. Markets closed early and will be closed for the Independence Day holiday. In the U.S., new orders for factory goods rose more than expected in May -- a positive sign for manufacturers, which spurred the markets higher.
European indices were also ahead, with the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rising by 0.8%, the German DAX up by 1.2%, and the French CAC 40 adding 1%, on investors' hopes that central banks will move to encourage global growth.
The Australian dollar was slightly higher, currently trading at around 102.8 U.S. cents.
Commodities markets were also higher, with gold rising 1.5% to US$1,619.90 an ounce. Brent crude oil rose above US$100 a barrel, as Iran's nuclear program sparked concerns about oil supply. With no immediate news around Europe's debt issues, is this just a case of investors finding something else to worry about?
Early gains again?
The ASX SPI futures closed up 11 points, indicating the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEX: ^AXJO ) (ASX: XJO) could show an early rise -- similar to yesterday, when the SPI futures rose 15 points.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is today expected to release a report on May retail data. Retailers including Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (HVN.AX), Myer Holdings Limited (ASX: MYR.AX), JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) and David Jones Limited (NASDAQOTH: DJS.AX) could be in focus on the back of that data.
The Australian Financial Review is continuing to report that miners are tightening up costs. BHP Billiton Limited recently announced that it wasn't approving any major projects until December 2012. The paper reported yesterday that Rio Tinto Limited was looking to cut support and service costs by 10%.
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