Global shares move higher, commodities move higher and Rio Tinto extends upon recent gains, ASX futures up 29 points

Firming global equity and commodity markets are continuing to provide Australian stock market investors with great gains. Today's first chart shows year-to-date returns of Australia's ASX 200 (orange) and the US S&P 500 (black). As measured by these two cash index instruments, the disparity for 2014 performance now stands at 7.97%, with a weakening Australian dollar and the RBA in rate cutting mode fuelling investment in the  Australian stock market. In just a few weeks Rio Tinto (RIO) has lifted 18.8%, with a significant portion of that gain coming on Friday after it announced its full-year earnings results along with a $500 million off-market buyback. As outlined late last week, if members are keen to get involved in the off-market buyback but don't want the risk of RIO's price movements, you can always open a Rivkin CFD account and take out a short position on the stock to match your purchase. Click here to open an account.

While previously the Australian stock market had been supported by the money pouring into ASX 50 stocks with high yields and franking credits, we're seeing now the double-whammy of resurging interest in resource stocks. If you take a glance at today's Global Markets matrix at the bottom of this update, you'll see that commodity gains are beginning to impact the rolling monthly figures, with particular regard to crude oil. Iron ore still has a way to go.

In today's second chart you can see that copper has moved higher from its lows and the last chart shows the US dollar continuing to trade sideways, taking the pressure off commodity prices that was present during the US dollar's rally.

Today‚Äôs charts are taken from the Rivkin Trader platform. 30,000 global instruments available to trade including FX, commodities, index, ETFs and international shares. Trade Australian share CFDs from just $8 or 0.10%. Click here or phone 1300 748 546 to get your free $100,000 demo account.

Upcoming economic announcements: Japanese GDP out at 10:50am, Sydney time.

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