GLOBALmarkets rallied yesterday after investors were buoyed by an improving global economy, as gold surged and the dollar weakened. <br /><br />A broad rally in the US sent the Dow to its highest close in thirteen months, after the Group of 20 ministers in Scotland pledged to keep interest rates low throughout the major world economies at the weekend. <br /><br />Firms as diverse as American Express and General Electric made gains as the Dow soared by 203.52 points, or two per cent, to close at 10,226.94. <br />Low interest rates are giving investors a plentiful supply of cheap money with which to buy stocks, oil, gold and high-yielding currencies.<br /><br />US interest rates are expected to remain near zero well into 2010, and analysts said that would keep the dollar weak as market players borrow it cheaply to finance other investments.<br /><br />The US dollar briefly fell to a 15-month low against a basket of leading currencies.<br /><br />The euro was up one per cent at $1.4992. Sterling rose 0.8 per cent to $1.6751 while the dollar fell 1.7 per cent against the Canadian dollar to C$1.0564. The dollar touched its lowest rate since August 2008 yesterday.<br /><br />Investors used the low value of the dollar to buy into gold. The precious metal hit $1,111 an ounce &ndash; a rise of 26.5 per cent year-to-date &ndash; as world markets took stock of the Indian government&rsquo;s decision to buy $6.7bn of gold from the International Monetary Fund last week. <br /><br />In the UK, the FTSE 100 gained 90 points to close 1.8 per cent up at 5,235.18.<br /><br />Oil and mining shares were the engine that pushed the market higher. Vedanta Resources, BHP Billiton and BP all gained at least 1.9 per cent.<br /><br />Engineering group IMI put on 15 per cent after forecasting second half earnings &ldquo;materially ahead of current consensus&rdquo;.<br /><br />And Axa and AMP&rsquo;s unsuccessful bid for Axa Asia Pacific showed corporate activity was back on the menu.<br />