The Australian share market looks set to open more than half a percent higher, following strong gains on US markets and fresh record highs elsewhere.
At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the share price futures index was up 42 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,066.
In economic news on Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is slated to release November international trade in goods and services data.
In equities news, Bega Cheese has an extraordinary general meeting scheduled and vote on its share placement.
The Australian market on Thursday closed slightly higher with strong performances in the healthcare and energy sectors helping to offset a weak session for the big miners and banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 6.7 points, or 0.11 percent, to 6,077.1 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index gained 10.1 points, or 0.16 percent, to 6,185.4 points.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has broken above the 25,000 level for the first time and other major indexes have scaled new records, propelled by strong US private jobs numbers that added to a stream of robust economic data from across the world.
The 30-member blue-chip index crossed five 1,000-point marks in 2017, on the back of President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda and solid corporate earnings.
Wall Street carried the momentum into the new year, with the benchmark S&P index closing above 2,700 for the first time on Wednesday and the Nasdaq settling above 7,000 a day earlier.
Strong manufacturing and services sector data from the world’s largest economies helped global shares climb to new levels on Thursday.
A report showed that US private employers stepped up hiring in December and planned layoffs by American-based companies fell sharply, pointing to sustained labor market strength.
In late trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.63 percent, at 25,079.49, the S&P 500 was up 0.50 percent, at 2,726.62, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.19 percent, at 7,078.90.
Gold prices swung between small gains and losses with investors assessing minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting before eking out a 10th straight session of gains.
Front-month gold for January delivery closed up 0.2% at $1,319.40 a troy ounce, paring earlier losses to notch its longest winning streak since July 2011.
IRON ORE: $73.75 +1.15(February contract)
Oil prices closed at a fresh three-year high, as U.S. crude stockpiles dropped by more than expected last week and geopolitical tensions kept traders on edge.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, closing at the highest level since December 2014.
Brent, the global benchmark, advanced 23 cents, or 0.3%, to $68.07 a barrel.
The dollar fell to its lowest level in more than three months intraday, as investors bet on faster monetary policy tightening outside the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was recently down 0.2% to 85.65, its lowest level since mid-September.
Investors expect more central banks around the world to begin unwinding nearly a decade of postcrisis stimulus policies in 2018, paving the way for interest-rate increases down the road. That is likely to make the dollar less attractive to some investors, who for years had sought U.S. assets because they offered yields that were high compared with other developed economies.
The Australian dollar has marched higher against the US dollar following a rise in commodity prices.
At 0635 AEDT on Friday, the Australian dollar was worth 78.60 US cents, up from 78.39 US cents on Thursday.
A rally in European stocks picked up the pace on Thursday as services growth data for the euro zone confirmed a strengthening economy was bolstering corporate activity.
The euro zone’s STOXX 50 had its best day since April 2017, up 1.7 percent, and gains spanning cyclical sectors including industrials and banks drove the pan-European STOXX 600 0.9 percent higher.
Services PMI data showed the euro area was near its best growth in seven years, while services growth in Italy and Spain beat the previous flash estimates.
Germany’s DAX ended 1.46 percent higher at 13,167.89.
Asian stock markets ended in a sea of green and with records broken.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed up 0.51 percent, scaling a decade-high peak as the fifth day of gains in China helped emerging market stocks to a six-and-a-half year high.
Tokyo’s Nikkei – Asia’s biggest market – earlier shot to its highest since 1991 with a 3.3 percent surge. It lifted 741.39 points, or 3.26 percent, to close at 23,506.33.
Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index rose for the seventh straight session on Thursday, hitting a fresh 10-year high and pacing gains in Asian markets as the solid United States and German economic data boosted sentiment.
The Hang Seng index gained 175.53 points or 0.57 percent at 30,736.48. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.95 percent to 12,203.55.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.52 percent at 3,386.5043 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.44 percent.
The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 0.2 percent, to 8443.5.