The Australian share market is expected to open flat, after a mixed end to the week on Wall Street and gains on European markets. At 0700 AEST on Monday, the Australian share price futures index was steady at 5,942 points.
The Australian share market on Friday closed comfortably higher, as major financial stocks recovered from early losses to join all other sectors in positive territory.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 42.8 points, or 0.72 per cent, at 5,953.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 39.9 points, or 0.66 per cent, at 6,042.9 points.
In economics news on Monday, CoreLogic releases its weekly capital city house prices report.
In equities news, Origin Energy March releases its quarter production report.
Wall Street closed nearly flat on Friday as inflation worries and struggling technology and energy stocks were offset by an advance in the consumer discretionary sector led by Amazon.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq eked out small gains while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged into negative territory by the end of the session.
All three major US indexes were down for the week at the end of a choppy session, ending two-week winning streaks.
Growth in the US economy slowed in the first quarter as consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in nearly five years, according to the Commerce Department. But a jump in wages and lower tax rates suggested the setback could be temporary.
As companies warn of higher costs eroding margins, markets have fluctuated as investors focus on guidance in the face of the strongest quarterly profit growth in seven years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 11.15 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 24,311.19, the S&P 500 gained 2.97 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2,669.91 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.12 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 7,119.80.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,323.25 per fine ounce, from $US1,316.33 per fine ounce on Friday.
IRON ORE: $65.53 -1.29 (May contract)
Oil prices edged lower Friday but continued to be largely supported by uncertainty over the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.
The dollar posted its biggest weekly gain since 2016 on Friday, powered by strong U.S. data and perceptions that Europe’s economy may be slowing.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, rose 1.1% on the week, its steepest gain since December 2016. It was closed down 0.2% at 85.30 on the day.
Robust U.S. economic numbers have helped buoy the U.S. currency and bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to raise rates at a faster pace this year. Most recently, a Friday report showed that the U.S. economy grew at 2.3% in the first quarter, faster than analysts were expecting.
The Australian dollar is slightly higher after US stocks had a flat finish to trade on Friday, and European share markets gained ground.
At 0635 AEST on Monday, the local currency was worth 75.74 US cents, up from 75.47 US cents on Friday.
British shares climbed on Friday after weaker than expected GDP data triggered a slide in sterling, while Royal Bank of Scotland shares fell after its first-quarter results.
UK growth slowed much more sharply than expected in the first quarter, sending the pound to a two-month low against the dollar and slashing the market’s expectations the Bank of England will raise interest rates in May.
Sterling’s fall boosted multinational dollar-earners on the FTSE 100, helping it jump 1.09 per cent to its highest since February 1, just before a rolling global sell-off spread across markets.
On the mainland, Germany’s DAX 30 index was up 0.64 per cent, and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.54 per cent.
UK-listed consumer staples stocks, which overwhelmingly make earnings in dollars and translate them back into sterling, all made gains as the pound fell.
Diageo, Unilever, British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands all rose 1.6 to 2.9 percent, the biggest boosts to the FTSE. Burberry also gained 3.1 percent.
Asian shares rose on Friday, while markets in Seoul were underpinned by optimism as leaders of North and South Korea held their first summit in over a decade.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8 percent, but still looked set to shed 0.9 percent for the week.
South Korea’s KOSPI briefly rose more than one percent to a one-month high, helped by hopes that the summit could ease tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme and pave the way for the North and South to end their decades-long conflict.
South Korean equities later pared their gains to 0.8 percent , while the South Korean won rose more than 0.5 percent against the dollar in onshore trade.
“The easing of tension and the possibility of a peace treaty coming on the horizon are bullish for the won and KOSPI,” said Mingze Wu, FX trader of global payments for INTL FCStone Ltd in Singapore.
Japan’s Nikkei share average rose 0.7 percent and touched a two-month peak at one point, getting a boost as chip-related firms rallied after brisk earnings forecasts from Advantest and Kyocera.
On Friday, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.07 per cent, to 8,370.37.