The Australian share market is expected to open higher after US stocks rallied on the back of more postive company earnings reports.
At 0700 AEST on Friday, the Australian share price futures index was up 44 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 5,938.
The Australian share market on Thursday was dragged lower by the big four banks after UBS downgraded Westpac in a report that questioned the quality of the lender’s mortgage book.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 10.8 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 5,910.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 6.4 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 6,003 points.
On Friday, the Australian dollar is lower after the US dollar rallied following the European Central Bank meeting and the release of better than expected weekly US jobless claims data.
US stocks advanced on Thursday with each of Wall Street’s major indexes ending the session up one per cent or higher, boosted by solid earnings results and a rebound in technology stocks as US bond yields pulled back.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq snapped a five-day losing streak while the S&P technology index booked its first up day in six sessions.
Facebook surged 9.1 per cent after posting an impressive earnings beat, which appeared to calm worries about the autumnout from its use of consumer data.
Amazon.com Inc shares jumped more than six per cent in after-market trading after the online retailer reported a 43 per cent surge in first-quarter revenue.
General Motors Co edged up 0.4 per cent after the automaker reported a production drop of its high-margin pickup trucks, despite posting higher-than-expected profit.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,316.40 per fine ounce, from $US1,324.79 per fine ounce on Thursday.
IRON ORE: $66.82 -0.37 (May contract)
Oil prices rose, with Brent hitting a fresh three-year high on increased geopolitical tensions, with the U.S. expected to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in the coming weeks.
The dollar rose against the euro after dovish comments from the European Central Bank regarding its next steps for its bond-buying program sent the single currency lower.
The euro fell 0.5% against the dollar, while The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, gained 0.2%.
ECB President Mario Draghi said that policy makers needed to better understand what has caused a moderation in economic growth before they can decide on the future of the bank’s bond-buying program.
A raft of recent economic data, from industrial production to retail sales, suggest the eurozone economy slowed in the first quarter of 2018 after outpacing the U.S. economy last year.
The Australian dollar is lower after the US dollar rallied following the European Central Bank meeting and the release of better than expected US employment data.
At 0635 AEST on Friday, the local currency was worth 75.51 US cents, down from 75.72 US cents on Thursday.
Britain’s FTSE underperformed most European peers on Wednesday, failing to join a global bounce as a missed cash flow forecast from Royal Dutch Shell disappointed investors and weighed heavily on the blue chip index .
The FTSE closed up 0.57 per cent at 7421.43 points, slightly below the 0.94 per cent of the pan-European STOXX 600 boosted by encouraging corporate results and a positive start on Wall Street.
Despite a 42 per cent rise in first-quarter profit on stronger oil prices, shares in Shell, a FTSE heavyweight, fell one per cent as cash flows fell short of investors’ strong expectations.
The negative surprise meant the British major did not benefit from a rise in oil prices like its French rival Total , which was up 1.5 per cent and whose earnings beat analysts’ expectations.
Asian stocks were supported on Thursday by robust corporate earnings that helped Wall Street quell concerns about the surge in US bond yields. However, sagging Chinese shares limited the upside potential of the market.
South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 1.3 percent, with tech shares buoyed by news of a record quarterly profit from Samsung Electronics.
The region’s other gainers included Japan’s Nikkei, which rose 0.5 percent and Thai and Malaysian stocks.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.15 percent, as weaker Chinese stocks weighed on the market.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9 percent and the blue-chip CSI300 index dropped 1.4 percent as tech shares came under pressure following news that U.S. prosecutors have been investigating if China’s Huawei violated U.S. sanctions on Iran.
On Thursday, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.08 per cent, to 8,282.05.