The Australian dollar has jumped as optimism reigned overnight, boosting commodity currencies.

At 7.00am (AEDT) on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at US71.76c, up from US71.46c on Tuesday.

A surge in risk sentiment was fuelled by more positive US data surprises and repeated signals that the European Central Bank may ease.

A US manufacturing index had a modest improvement in January, although it remained in contraction for a fifth straight month.

RBC Markets chief US economist Tom Porcelli said it was more signs of stabilisation in the industry after a soft patch.

“If we are indeed witnessing the bottoming process in the oil-related pain… it could have a meaningful impact on broad non-residential investment,” he said.

Meanwhile, ECB president Mario Draghi bolstered the case for another dose of stimulus at the central bank’s meeting next week.

“Draghi said the March review will be conducted against a backdrop of downside risks to the outlook and there are no limits to the deployment of stimulus instruments,” Westpac economists said.

“Equities, commodities, US interest rates and the US dollar all rose, while the commodity currencies outperformed.”

Traders will now closely watch local December quarter gross domestic product figures due out Tuesday, where a 2.65 per cent annual growth rate is expected.

Source: businessspectator