The Australian share market looks set to open higher after gains from technology companies and the banks triggered a rally in US stocks.
At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was up 13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6,185 points.
No major economic or equities news is expected on Friday.
The Australian share market on Thursday broke a four-day losing streak and ended the day higher, with energy and materials stocks leading the gains.
After a shaky start, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 0.31 per cent, at 6,215.4 points on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.24 per cent, at 6,305.8 points.
A rally for technology companies helped US stocks recover some of their recent losses, but trading remained uneven as investors tried to figure out if the tensions between the US and other nations will spill over into a trade war.
Stocks started the day at their lowest levels in almost a month. Contradictory reports from US officials about trade policy have led the market to lurch between gains and losses, sometimes by the hour.
The S&P 500 index added 16.68 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 2,716.31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.46 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 24,216.05 and the Nasdaq composite gained 58.60 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7,503.68.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,248.04 per fine ounce, from $US1,250.05 per fine ounce on Thursday
IRON ORE: $64.73 +0.33(July contract)
Oil prices surged to multiyear highs for a second straight session as investors anticipate a tightening market with more declines in inventories due to robust global demand and production or export disruptions in various nations.
The dollar edged lower, as some investors locked in gains on a rally that has taken the U.S. currency to its highest level in a year.
The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was down 0.1% at 88.46.
Expectations that robust U.S. economic growth will push the Federal Reserve to accelerate its pace of interest rate increases this year have helped lift the U.S. currency in recent weeks.
The Australian dollar has bounced back and is higher against the greenback, after trading at its lowest level in around 18 months on Thursday.
At 0630 AEST on Friday, the local currency was worth 73.49 US cents, up from 73.33 US cents on Thursday.
The UK’s top share index has fallen on renewed concerns over global trade but a strong performance of defensive stocks and a weaker pound helped limit its losses.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.1 per cent at 7,615.63 points while the pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.8 per cent.
Though British shares have enjoyed a respite over the past two sessions from the selling pressure, worries over US-China trade and the beginning of a tense EU summit contributed to the subdued mood ahead of the end of the quarter.
Sectors more exposed to the economic cycle, however, such as materials and financials, wiped the most points off the FTSE 100.
Among smaller companies, stocks exposed to the UK consumer were once again on the back foot as shares in pub operator Greene King tanked nine per cent following the publication of its full year earnings.
The Tokyo Stock Market remained almost unchanged on Thursday as the yen depreciated against the dollar, compensating for concerns over escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.
The benchmark index Nikkei dropped by 1.38 points or 0.01 percent to close at 22,370.39 points, while the second indicator Topix, which tracks stocks of the First Section, fell 4.45 points or 0.26 percent to close at 1,727.00 points Tokyo stocks had opened in the red with investors concerned over a fresh trade dispute between the two largest economies of the world, after US President Donald Trump announced a plan to restrict Chinese investments in his country on Wednesday.
However, investors responded positively to the yen weakening against the dollar, a trend which benefits export companies, since they become more competitive abroad.
Air transport, finance and insurance sectors were the biggest losers, while metal and rubber stocks gained the most.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index closed marginally higher, up 0.03 per cent to 8,998.79 points.