U.S. markets bounced back overnight on hopes Janet Yellen will continue the Fed’s easy money policies if she is confirmed as the next Chair of the central bank.
Yellen is due to front the US Senate for her confirmation hearing later this morning, and the expectation is she will outline her reasons for continuing quantitative easing.
Both the Dow and S&P500 reached new record highs, with retailer Macy’s providing a further boost to sentiment after revealing stronger-than-expected earnings.
The Dow Jones climbed 71 points (+0.5%) to 15822, the S&P500 added 14 points (+0.8%) to 1782 and the Nasdaq jumped 46 points (+1.2%) to 3966.
In commodity markets, oil clawed back some of its recent heavy losses but gains were capped by fears tonight’s data will reveal further increases in weekly US crude stockpiles.
Front month oil futures advanced 0.8% to US$93.76 a barrel whilst gold weakened 0.2% to US$1268 an ounce.
The U.S. dollar strengthened last night, but has come under pressure this morning as traders react to the dovish tone of Yellen’s prepared remarks to Congress.
In economic news, the Melbourne Institute inflation expectations index is due for release at 11:00am, AEDT, whilst new motor vehicles sales data is due out half an hour later.