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.

European shares recorded a healthy start to the new quarter on Tuesday. BNP Paribas rose 3.6 per cent on a relief rally, after news it had settled US sanctions case and reassured investors of its 2015 earnings guidance. Volume on the stock was twice its 90-day average. Mining shares rallied after encouraging economic data came out of China. The STOXX 600 resources index rose 2.6 per cent. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.9 per cent, the German Dax gained 0.7 per cent while the UK FTSE rose 0.9 per cent. Australia's major miners finished higher in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton up by 2.9 per cent while Rio Tinto rose by 3 per cent.

US sharemarkets rose on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 hitting fresh record highs and the Dow flirting with 17,000 points. Twitter shares jumped 3.6 per cent after announcing a new CFO. The Dow Jones rose by 129 points or 0.8 per cent with the S&P 500 index up 13 points or 0.7 per cent and the Nasdaq rose by 50 points or 1.1 per cent.

US treasury prices rose on Tuesday (yields higher), after traders reacted to the strong Chinese and US manufacturing data. US 2-year yields rose 1 point to 0.47 per cent while US 10-year yields rose by 3 points at 2.57 per cent.

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar on Tuesday. The euro hit highs near $US1.3695 before easing to lows near $US1.3675, closing US trade near its lows. The Aussie dollar lifted from lows near $US94.40c to highs near $US95.05c and ended US trade near $US94.95c. And the Japanese yen traded in a tight range between 101.40 yen per US dollar to JPY101.60, ending US trade near JPY101.50.

World oil prices eased on Tuesday on easing concerns about potential supply disruptions from Iraq. Brent crude fell by US16c or 0.1 per cent to $US112.29 a barrel. While the US Nymex price closed lower by US3c or to $US105.34 a barrel. 

Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday. Zinc fell by 1.6 per cent while tin lifted by 1.1 per cent. The Comex gold futures quote rose by $US4.60 an ounce or 0.3 per cent to $US1,326.60 per ounce. Iron ore rose by US40c a tonne or 0.4 per cent to $US94.20 a tonne.

Ahead: In Australia, trade data is released. RBA Assistant Governor Debelle speaks in London. In the US, factory orders are released.   

Craig James is chief economist at Commsec.