The Australian share market looks set to open more than half a per cent higher after the Nasdaq reached another record high.
At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was up 33 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6,058.
In economic news on Friday, Reserve Bank of Australia assistant governor (Economic) Luci Ellis speaks at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) Leaders’ Luncheon in Sydney.
In equities, the class action filed by law firm Quinn Emanuel against wealth manager AMP is listed in the Supreme Court in Sydney.
The Australian market on Thursday closed closed the day weaker after soft local job figures and weak economic data out of China weighed on a market already under pressure from overnight falls on Wall Street.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 6.9 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 6,016.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 3.5 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 6,129.6 points.
The S&P 500 has edged up and the Nasdaq has reached another record closing high after the European Central Bank said it would avoid raising interest rates until mid-2019, and data showed US economic strength.
The strong US retail sales numbers came a day after the Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate and hinted at the possibility of two more hikes by the end of 2018.
The ECB announced it would end its bond-purchase program at year-end but signalled that any interest rate hike was still distant.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25.89 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 25,175.31, the S&P 500 gained 6.86 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 2,782.49 and the Nasdaq Composite added 65.34 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 7,761.04.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,302.04 per fine ounce, from $US1,302.86 per fine ounce on Thursday.
IRON ORE: $66.25 +0.58(July contract)
U.S. benchmark oil futures logged their highest settlement in two weeks, buoyed by a hefty weekly decline in U.S. crude supplies, though the rise was modest given a climb in last week’s domestic production to a record level.
The euro weakened firmly against most of its major rivals, with a pronounced slide versus the U.S. dollar, after the European Central Bank set a year-end timetable for ending a crisis-era bond-buying program – as expected – but emphasized a more-cautious-than-predicted approach to rolling back its easy-money policies.
The ECB stance caught some currency traders wrong-footed, resulting in shared currency’s worst one-day slide since June 2016, according to WSJ Market Data Group.
During ECB President Mario Draghi’s news conference, the euro slipped to its worst level since the beginning of the month. It last bought $1.1597, compared with $1.1791 late Wednesday, marking its steepest daily percentage loss since the U.K.’s vote to exit from the European Union in June 2016.
The Australian dollar has slipped below 75 US cents, dropping more than half a cent as the greenback soars with the US dollar index up 1.1 per cent.
At 0635 AEST on Friday, the Australian dollar was worth 74.81 US cents, down from 75.53 US cents on Thursday.
Britain’s main stock index rose on Thursday after the European Central Bank signalled interest rates would remain steady through to the next northern summer, easing investors’ concerns about tightening monetary policy.
The ECB announced it would end its unprecedented bond purchase scheme by the end of this year, but said it would maintain rates at record lows at least through the summer of 2019.
The FTSE 100 climbed 0.81 per cent to 7,765.79, a three-week high, having fallen as much as 0.7 per cent earlier when a more hawkish rates outlook from the Fed weighed on equities.
Stock benchmarks across Europe enjoyed their best day in 2-1/2 months as they benefited both from a weaker euro and the surprise extension of lower interest rates.
The pan-European STOXX 600 and the euro zone STOXX jumped 1.4 and 1.3 per cent, while the exporter-heavy German DAX index gained 1.7 per cent to 13,107.10, as the euro fell to a session low.
Japan’s Nikkei share average dropped on Thursday morning after the Federal Reserve forecast a slightly faster pace of rate hikes this year, while concern about a US-China trade war also soured sentiment.
The Nikkei fell 0.99 per cent to 22,738.61. Shares of exporters such as carmakers and electronics stocks came under pressure.
Nissan Motor Co fell 1.3 pe cent, Hitachi shed 2.05 per cent and Panasonic Corp dropped 1.89 per cent.
Hong Kong stocks ended lower, after the Fed raised interest rates and struck a more hawkish tone, while downbeat Chinese data and renewed trade war fears curbed risk appetite.
The Hang Seng index ended 0.9 per cent lower at 30,440.17 points, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 per cent to 11,950.70 points.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) raised the base rate charged through overnight discount window by 25 basis points on Thursday to 2.25 per cent after the Fed raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index closed flat, at 8,978.18.