The Australian share market looks set to open flat amid widespread negative sentiment on international bourses.
At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the share price futures index was down 3 points, or 0.05 percent, at 6,010.
No major economic news is expected on Friday.
In equities news, National Australia Bank and Orica have their annual general meetings scheduled.
The Australian market on Thursday lost ground as gains for materials and energy companies were offset by falls in the utilities and property trust sectors, and the Australian dollar has been boosted by strong jobs growth.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 10.5 points, or 0.17 percent, to 6,011.3 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index lost 6.7 points, or 0.11 percent, to 6,096.4 points.
Wall Street stocks are lower with gains in shares of technology and consumer discretionary companies unable to offset losses in healthcare stocks such as Johnson & Johnson.
Walt Disney struck a deal to buy Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets for $US52.4 billion in stock.
Fox rose 4.12 percent and Disney 2.2 percent, boosting the consumer discretionary sector by 0.5 percent. Other media stocks Netflix and Comcast were also higher.
Gains in technology stocks Alphabet and Facebook initially lifted the Nasdaq up 0.15 percent to 6,886.32, before its followed its peers and fell into the red.
Healthcare stocks were the biggest laggards, led by a 0.7 percent fall in Johnson & Johnson and 1.3 percent fall in AbbVie.
In late afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.22 percent at 24,532.54, while the S&P 500 was down 0.30 percent, at 2,654.75 and the Nasdaq had shed 0.25 percent to 6,858.63.
Gold prices finished higher in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise U.S. interest rates, with the metal gaining on the view that 2018 will likely bring three more hikes, not four.
The central bank lifted a key short-term U.S. interest rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5% and stuck to its earlier forecast for just three rate increases in 2018. The announcement came after gold’s official settlement Wednesday, but the metal’s prices moved higher in electronic trading, in step with a fall for the dollar.
IRON ORE: $68.05 -0.90 ( January contract )
Oil prices wavered between gains and losses intraday, as traders weighed higher oil output against a major pipeline outage.
Light, sweet crude was recently trading near flat at $56.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global oil benchmark, rose 42 cents, or 0.7%, to $62.86 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar rose intraday as data showed the economy continues to grow amid the Federal Reserve’s tightening interest-rate policy.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, increased 0.2% to 86.97.
Spending at stores, online-shopping websites and restaurants rose 0.8% in November from the prior month, the Commerce Department said.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.3% increase. Retail sales increased 5.8% from November 2016.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 in the week ended Dec. 9, the Labor Department said.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 235,000 new claims last week.
Australian dollar has been boosted by strong jobs growth.
The local currency was trading at 76.74 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Friday.
Britain’s top share index slipped on Thursday, weighed down by losses among financial stocks, while miner Lonmin soared after a rescue takeover bid.
The FTSE index fell 0.65 percent to 7,448.12 points, with scarce impact from the Bank of England’s decision to keep benchmark interest rates on hold. The decision was widely expected, with the economy slowing amid uncertainty over the country’s exit from the European Union.
Weakness in bank stocks dragged European shares lower, as the financial sector caught a cold from US and Asian trading after a less hawkish than expected tone from the US Federal Reserve.
The Fed raised rates, as widely expected, but banks fell in Europe as cautious comments from Chair Janet Yellen on persistently low inflation shook investor confidence in financial stocks.
Asian stocks rose on Thursday after the Fed decision, while the MSCI World
Index, which tracks stocks in 47 countries, was up 0.1 percent.
China’s central bank also raised rates, though marginally. While Chinese shares slipped, the wider impact was limited.
MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.20 percent while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.28 percent to 22,694.45, hurt by US dollar weakness after the Fed decision.
Hong Kong stocks were little changed on Thursday, as investors gave muted reaction to the Federal Reserve’s widely expected US rate hike as well as China’s tepid November economic data.
The Hang Seng index lost 0.19 percent to 29,166.38. Its top gainer was Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd which rose 4.23 percent, while the biggest loser was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, down 4.10 percent.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.32 percent at 3,292.44 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.59 percent lower at 4,026.15.
The S&P/NZX50 Index increased 0.5 percent, to 8323.75.