Australia: The Australian dollar has received another boost overnight after an improvement in investor risk appetite.

Equity markets rallied strongly in both the US and Europe, with commodity prices also recording some solid gains.

The local unit has put in a very solid performance over the last few days and has outperformed against most of the other majors overnight.

The market has now turned its attention to today's jobs data due out later this morning.

Market expectations are for the number of employed to have increased by approximately 15,000 in June.

Should we see another strong jobs number the AUD may look to head up through USD0.8700 as the chances of an interest rate hike form the RBA in August increase.

A disappointing figure would more than likely trigger a sell off back towards support at USD0.8560.

Majors: Offshore equity markets surged overnight, with US benchmark indices recording their biggest gains since May.

The turn around in investor sentiment was due mainly to a strong US retail sales figure, increasing optimism surrounding the upcoming US reporting season and easing concerns related to the stress tests the EU has been conducting on European banks.

The USD was sold off as a result, weakening against 12 of 16 major counterparts. Crude oil for August delivery rose 2.9% to $74 a barrel.

In terms of the equity markets, the DJIA index was up by 2.8% to 10018, the Nasdaq was up by 3.1%, while in Europe, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 gained 2.2%.

A Bloomberg survey of more than 8,000 contributors has shown that profit for S&P 500 companies is projected to increase by 34 percent in 2010.

This is up from previous forecasts, which had shown an expected increase in profits of around 27 percent.

Alcoa kicks off the second quarter earnings season with the release of its reports on July 12.