The Australian share market looks set to open higher despite an uninspiring Wall Street session.
At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the share price futures index was up 20 points, or 0.34 percent, at 5,972.
In economic news on Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases November’s lending finance data.
In equities news, Australian-originated tech company Atlassian is slated to release its financial results for the second quarter after the close of the markets in the US.
The Australian market on Thursday closed barely lower, with banks and consumer stocks among the few sectors to record gains as energy and mining stock weakness weighed on the market.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 1.2 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 6,014.6 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index lost 3.9 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,130.4 points.
Losses in healthcare and industrial stocks have paused Wall Street’s fervent new year rally that has driven the blue-chip Dow index to its fastest ever 1,000 point rise.
The S&P healthcare index fell 0.47 per cent, mostly due to losses in Merck J&J and Pfizer.
A 2.4 per cent drop in Boeing’s high-flying stock kept the Dow in the red until late in the US trading session – a day after the index closed above the 26,000 mark for the first time.
Morgan Stanley wrapped up earnings season for the big US banks with a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driving modest gains in its shares.
Alcoa tumbled 8 per cent after the aluminum producer’s earnings missed analysts’ estimates.
In late afternoon trading (0716 Friday AEDT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.20 per cent, at 26,064.42, the S&P 500 was up 0.04 per cent at 2,803.57, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.14 per cent at 7,308.71.
Gold prices fell as some investors took profits following a recent run-up in prices.
Front-month gold for January delivery fell 0.9% to $1,326.00 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, snapping a five-session winning streak.
Prices have risen to their highest level since September recently, supported by a weaker dollar.
IRON ORE: $73.18 +0.48(February contract)
Oil prices pared losses on Thursday, as government data showing a larger-than-expected reduction in stockpiles outweighed increasing output from major oil producers.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery settled down 2 cents at $63.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after fluctuating between gains and losses throughout the session. Brent, the global benchmark, edged down 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $69.31.
The U.S. dollar fell as Congress appeared no closer to resolving a budget impasse that could lead to a government shutdown after Friday.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the currency against a basket of 16 others, declined 0.4% to 84.35. The dollar fell broadly, including declines against the euro, yen and British pound.
The government’s current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday and investors are watching closely as Congress and President Donald Trump try to negotiate a stopgap spending bill — the third such measure since December for the fiscal year which started Oct. 1.
The Australian dollar is fractionally shy of 80 US cents, with the US dollar weakening overnight amid fears of a possible federal government shutdown.
At 0635 AEDT on Friday, the Australian dollar was worth 79.96 US cents, up from 79.70 US cents on Thursday.
European shares notched up modest gains on Thursday, led higher by a fresh rise for so-called cyclical stocks while company updates and ratings changes from brokers spurred moves among individual names.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2 per cent at its close.
In Frankfurt, German chipmaker Infineon led the DAX higher, adding 5.6 per cent after getting a rating upgrade from Goldman Sachs, while SocGen began its coverage of the stock with a “buy” rating.
The DAX closed up 0.74 per cent at 13,281.43.
Britain’s blue-chip index fell, led lower by utilities and a decline for Associated British Foods after warning that profit at its sugar business would fall more than previously forecast.
The first acceleration by China’s giant economy in seven years kept stocks near record highs on Thursday.
Underlining the momentum of the world economic expansion into the back end of last year, both Chinese fourth-quarter growth of 6.8 per cent and December industrial output growth of 6.2 per cent were ahead of expectations.
Most Asian bourses were closing when the data landed but had briefly set a new an all-time record after the US blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial index had closed above 26,000 points for the first time.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.21 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.44 per cent at 23,763.37.
Hong Kong stocks rose to a fresh peak, led by telecommunications and financial firms.
The China Enterprises index HSCE, which tracks major Chinese firm listed in Hong Kong, extended gains after data showed China’s Q4 economic growth beats expectations.
The Hang Seng index was up 0.43 per cent at 32,121.94. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.76 per cent to 13,094.92.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index rose 0.87 per cent to 3,474.75 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.55 per cent at 4,271.42.
The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 0.3 per cent, to 8272.67.