Global markets have rallied as investors were cheered up by higher oil prices, progress on Greek debt talks, and Japan’s indications it was prepared to intervene in currency markets to weaken the yen if necessary.
The Australian market took cheer also with the ASX/S&P 200 index benchmark opening 1.3 per cent higher at 5412.1 points.
Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso said: “Japan obviously will intervene if one-sided moves persist.”
But he added that the country had “no plans to manipulate currency moves on a long-term basis.”
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 1.2 per cent higher, rising 222 points to 17,928.
Tech did well
The S&P 500 gained 26 points to 2,084, its best day in two months.
Online retailer Amazon gained 3.4 per cent to a record high of $US701.40 a share. The Nasdaq gained 60 points to 4,810.
In Europe, markets rose to a three month high despite a fall in factory production in France and Germany.
The FTSE 100 in London increased 42 points to 6,157. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 15 points to 4,338. The DAX in Germany gained 65 points to 10,045.
Oil was stronger
Oil prices were boosted by concerns about supply outages in Canada, Nigeria and Libya.
West Texas crude rose $1.22 to $US44.66 a barrel.
Spot gold fell to the lowest in nearly two weeks as investors looked for riskier assets. It then recovered to $US1,266.70 an ounce.
The benchmark price of iron ore rose slightly to $US55.26 a tonne in China.
The Australian dollar gained in choppy trade overnight after falling to around 73 US cents yesterday. It was trading around 73.69 US cents, 51 British pence, 64.79 euro cents, 80.52 Japanese yen and $NZ1.085.
BHP can grow
BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mckenzie says the company can increase its value by more than 70 per cent even without a significant recovery in commodity prices.
Mr McKenzie has told a mining conference in Miami that productivity and latent capacity are among the things in BHP’s favour.
“We are not merely waiting for prices to recover. We have a diverse range of opportunities in the portfolio today and the financial strength and flexibility to pursue them.”
– with AAP