News that China will announce strong export growth in the month of May helped boost investor confidence and revitalized hopes that the global recovery can remain on track despite the troubles in the Euro-zone. The leaked report said that China's exports rose about 50% in May from a year earlier. There wasn't much else to go on in terms of fundamentals overnight and the main event risk now is Bernanke's testimony in front of Congress, set for 10 AM ET.
Commodity prices, like copper and other metals, were on the rise for a second session, helping to power gains in the Australian and Canadian Dollars - currencies most closely tied to global growth, but other risk-on trades like the Pound and Euro against the Dollar were up as well.
With the sovereign debt front quiet this week, traders and investors are taking the chance to retrace some of the steep losses seen to end last week. US equities had gained in yesterday's session and European stocks were up today.
Bernanke, in a speech on Monday night, had said the US recovery will continue at a moderate pace, beating back some of the angst about a double-dip recession that came about following the weak May non-farm payroll numbers. He also repeated the language that the Fed will keep interest rates at their ultra-low levels for an extended period, which many believe to mean 6 months. That will help carry trade, as a strong jobs report may have pushed up the time-frame for an interest rate increase. Now, it seems that the Fed will wait just a while longer to help spur growth. That should help growth sensitive currencies going forward, albeit absent some new risk aversion news event.
US stocks are set to open soon, and we'll see if the risk-on trades can push further higher, after a strong rally overnight.