Shares at six-year high, gold rebounds
A global stock index edged up to a six-year high and Wall Street closed at a record high as US data suggested the economy is improving, while the price of spot gold jumped 1 percent.
The safe-haven yen touched a 10-week low against the US dollar, and Brent crude futures hit a five-month low as expectations that rebel-held Libyan oil ports will reopen within days.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40.39 points, or 0.24 percent, to 16,573; the S&P 500 gained 5.38 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,890.9, a record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite added 8.416 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,276.456.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 0.2 percent, extending its winning streak to a seventh straight session.
Expectations that the European Central Bank may introduce new stimulus measures soon also supported equities, although some traders said they did not expect any new action from the ECB at its policy meeting on Thursday.
MSCI's global equity index ticked up 0.2 percent to hit its highest level since December 2007. An index of emerging market stocks rose for a ninth straight session and turned positive for the year after falling in February as much as 9 percent from its 2013 close.
COPPER VOLATILE AFTER QUAKE
Among commodities, Brent crude fell 0.8 percent to $104.75 a barrel after declining more than 2 percent on Tuesday. US crude eased 0.4 percent to $99.38 a barrel after also falling around 2 percent on Tuesday on expectations domestic inventories would grow.
Copper prices hit a three-week high at $6,734 a tonne after a powerful earthquake off the coast of Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, triggered a tsunami alert and raised concerns about supply.
Copper cut gains, however, as most mines are designed to withstand tremors, and was trading up 0.2 percent at $6,675, below a high hit Monday.
Spot gold rose 0.8 percent to $1,289.51 an ounce a day after hitting its lowest since Feb. 11 at $1,277.29.
US Treasuries yields edged higher after the job market data supported expectations of a strong nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note eased 13/32 in price to yield 2.8045 percent, compared to a yield of 2.76 percent late Tuesday. The 30-year Treasury bond price fell 26/32 to yield 3.6481 percent.
The euro dipped against the dollar ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting. Euro zone inflation slid to just 0.5 percent this month, leading some to speculate the ECB will soon loosen policy.
The euro zone single currency was recently down 0.2 percent at $1.3764.
Against the yen, the greenback came close to 104 to hit its highest since Jan. 24. The dollar recently gained 0.2 percent at 103.81 yen.