The Australian equity market is pointed to a positive start to the trading day after US stocks continued to trade higher with the Dow settling above the 13,000 level again.
The Dow finish the session up 28.23 points at 12980.30 while the S&P500 index traded up 8.41 points to finish the day at 1374.09.
On the economic front the US Labor Department released numbers that showed the weekly claims for unemployment benefit declined by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000 in the previous week to hold near a four-year low. A report released by the Institute for Supply Management showed that the manufacturing sector unexpectedly slowed in February, snapping a three-month gaining streak.
The Australian and New Zealand dollar have gained against the majority of their trading counterparts as signs of improvement in the Chinese manufacturing boosted the outlook for the two regions. AUDUSD has traded up from overnight lows of 1.0723 to recent highs of 1.0812.
WTI crude oil (see above chart) has traded up from overnight lows of 106.63 to as high as 110.59 after reports of a major explosion at the Saudi Oil Pipeline.
Gold rebounded from the largest decline of the year overnight trading up from yesterday lows of 1688.20 to recent highs of 1726.10 tracking other metal and energy.
The Volatility Index which is widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market traded down to 17.67.
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Bloomberg, Dow Jones News