Stocks on Wall Street soared back towards all time highs after two US Federal Reserve officials said ongoing weakness in the economy justified keeping interest rates near zero for longer.
In a paper, US Federal Reserve Division of Monetary Affairs chief William English said it could be helpful to wait until unemployment falls below 6.5 per cent before raising interest rates.
A paper by a separate Fed official, David Wilcox, suggested ongoing weakness in the economy justified keeping interest rates near zero for longer.
The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.8 per cent higher at 15,747 and the benchmark S&P 500 Index added 0.4 per cent, to 1,770.
But the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent, to 3,932, dragged down by losses for electric carmaker Tesla after its profits disappointed investors.
Europe markets mostly advanced, helped by better than expected profits for companies including the global bank ING.
There was some mixed economic data pointing to strength in the UK and Germany, where industrial orders rose, but overall weakness in the eurozone.
London was the only market to decline, with the FTSE 100 closing 5 points lower at 6,742.
Australian stocks are poised to advance at the open reflecting the positive mood overseas; the ASX SPI 200 futures index is 12 points higher at 5,430.
In commodity trade, West Texas Crude oil recovered from yesterday’s four-month low to close at $US94.72 a barrel and in Singapore, Tapis crude oil was fetching $US114.45 a barrel.
The spot price of gold rose to $US1,317.78 an ounce, as investors took note of the comments from the Fed officials.
In currency trade, the Australian dollar is rising against the greenback; at 8:20am (AEDT) it was buying 95.3 US cents.
The focus in Australian trade will be on labour force figures from the Bureau of Statistics, which are expected to show the unemployment rate rose to 5.7 per cent in October.