Scoreboard: Quarterly kick-start

Both the S&P 500 and Dow hit new records after upbeat manufacturing and spending data encouraged investors, while the Australian dollar lifted above US95c.

In US economic data, the ISM manufacturing index eased from 55.4 to 55.3 in June. A figure above 50 indicates expansion. The sub index of new orders hit a six-month high, a good sign for business capital spending. On a negative note export orders were weaker. The Markit US Manufacturing PMI rose to 57.3 in June -- the highest since May 2010. US construction spending rose by a lower than expected 0.1 per cent in May.

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