The Australian share market looks set to open higher after US and Europe markets enjoyed strong gains at the end of last week.
At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the share price futures index was up 30 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 6,015.
The Australian market was closed on Friday for the Australia Day public holiday, but on Thursday it finished marginally lower after being in negative territory for most of the day.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 4.7 point to 6,050.0 points.
The latest round of strong earnings reports, including from Intel and AbbVie, along with continued weakness in the US dollar lifted each of the major Wall Street indexes to closing records on Friday.
The three main indexes notched their best four-week run since 2016.
Intel’s shares surged as high as $US50.15, their highest level since October 2000, and closed up 10.55 per cent at $US50.08 after results indicated that the chipmaker’s shift to higher-margin data-center business was working.
“We continue to see these positive steps in the right direction and definitely、 earnings are clearly justifying a lot of the recent move that we’ve had,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fourth-quarter earnings growth for the S&P 500 is now estimated at 13.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data, up from 12 per cent at the start of the year. Of the 133 companies in the index that have reported through Friday, 79.7 per cent have topped expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 223.92 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 26,616.71, the S&P 500 gained 33.62 points, or 1.18 per cent, to 2,872.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 94.61 points, or 1.28 per cent, to 7,505.77.
Gold prices fell Friday, with some investors taking profits after a recent rally sent the precious metal to its highest level since August 2016.
Front-month gold for January delivery declined 0.8% to $1,351.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The dollar falling to its lowest level in more than two years has supported the precious metal of late amid international trade concerns because a weaker dollar makes gold and other dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for overseas buyers.
IRON ORE: $73.09 -0.81(February contract)
Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day Friday, bolstered by the dollar’s swoon and tightening supplies.
U.S. crude futures settled up 63 cents, or 0.96%, at $66.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange — a fresh three-year high. Brent, the global benchmark, rose 10 cents, or 0.14%, to $70.52 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, its second highest settlement of the year.
The dollar fell Friday, as investors continued to sell the battered U.S. currency.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the dollar against a basket of 16 other currencies, was down 0.4% at 83.07. The index fell for the seventh straight week, its longest weekly losing streak since 2010.
This week has been a bumpy one for the dollar. The U.S. currency staged a late-day comeback Thursday after President Donald Trump said it would get “stronger,” appearing to contradict comments made only the day before by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mr. Mnuchin’s comments on Wednesday brought the dollar to a fresh three-year low.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Friday, Mr. Mnuchin said where the dollar goes in the short term is “not a concern of mine one way or the other.” In the long run, he reiterated that a stronger dollar “is a sign of the economic success of the U.S.”
The Australian dollar is unchanged against the US dollar after Wall Street got a boost from healthcare stocks and a solid economic growth data.
At 0640 AEDT on Monday, the Australian dollar was worth 81.05 US cents, level with where it finished the local session on Thursday.
British shares rose across the board on Friday as buyers returned to the market following two days of declines driven by a strengthening sterling.
The FTSE index dipped briefly after the pound rose on figures which showed an unexpected acceleration in British economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The index recovered swiftly and closed up 0.6 per cent with healthcare shares contributing most to the broader rise.
AstraZeneca added 1.9 per cent after it reported that its inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) showed improved lung function in a late stage trial.
Energy was one of the only sectors to end in negative territory, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell down just shy of 0.1 per cent.
Asian stocks extended their winning run to the 11th day on Friday, while the battered dollar won back some ground after President Donald Trump said he wanted a strong US currency.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.25 per cent for the day, led by gains in Chinese financial and property shares.
It headed for its 11th straight day of gains, the longest sequence since 2015, and also for seventh straight week of gains for the first time since 2010.
Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.2 per cent.
The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 58.36 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 8311.41 on Friday.