The Australian share market looks set to open more than a third of a percent higher after the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rise buoyed Wall Street stocks.
At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 21 points, or 0.35 percent, at 6,048.
In economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to
release November labor force data.
In equities news, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to release its ruling on the Woolworths-BP service station deal and Elders has its annual general meeting scheduled in Adelaide.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank of Australia shares will be a key focus for investors as the big lender late Wednesday admitted to a significant number of the breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
The Australian market on Wednesday edged higher as the property sector was boosted by the $33 billion takeover of Westfield, and the consumer staples sector also rose.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 8.6 points, or 0.14 percent, at 6,021.8 points to 1630 AEDT.
The broader All Ordinaries index rose 10 points, or 0.16 percent, to 6,103.1 points.
The three major US stock indexes have lifted after the Federal Reserve raised US interest rates by a quarter percentage point, as anticipated, but left its rate outlook for the coming years unchanged even as policymakers projected a short-term acceleration in US economic growth.
Having now raised its benchmark overnight lending rate three times this year, the Fed projected three more hikes in each of 2018 and 2019 before a long-run level of 2.8 percent is reached, unchanged from its last round of forecasts in September.
Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis said the Fed’s statement was “pretty much as expected” but slightly more dovish.
“So, it’s not a big surprise but it’s a shift in the direction of saying the Fed is going to keep watching the data and if we don’t see higher inflation we could see fewer rate hikes in 2018,” said Warne.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.52 percent, at 24,631.73.
The S&P 500 had gained 0.26 percent, to 2,670.97.
The Nasdaq Composite had added 0.36 percent, to 6,887.23.
Gold prices extended gains in aftermarket trading Wednesday, as some investors saw a dovish tilt to the Federal Reserve’s latest statement.
Gold for February delivery was recently up 1.4% to $1,259 a troy ounce in electronic trading. Prices closed at $1,248.60 a troy ounce in regular trading on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In base metals, copper for March delivery was up 1% at $3.0535 a pound.
IRON ORE: $68.95 +0.94 ( January contract )
Oil prices slid for a second day Wednesday after U.S. data showed that fuel inventories rose and production increased.
And Brent prices fell as concerns eased about the impact of the shutdown of a major pipeline system in the North Sea.
U.S. crude futures fell 54 cents, or 0.95%, to $56.60 a barrel on the New York.
Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 90 cents, or 1.42%, to $62.44 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
The U.S. dollar extended losses after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, with central bankers signaling they don’t expect inflation to pick up steam as job gains slow.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, declined 0.7% to 86.81.
The dollar slipped as officials maintained their forecast for three rate increases in 2018, revised up their projections for economic growth and signaled they expect to keep raising rates if the economy performs in line with their forecast. That is important because rising interest rates typically attract yield-seeking investors to a currency in search of higher returns.
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that expected adjustments to the tax code would probably “provide some lift” to economic growth. Most officials “factored in the prospect” of those changes, Ms. Yellen said in a televised news conference.
The Australian dollar is almost half a US cent higher against the greenback which has weakened after the Federal Reserve raised its interest rate, as expected, but left its outlook unchanged.
At 0635 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian dollar was worth 76.22 US cents, up from 75.75 US cents on Wednesday.
European shares closed lower as US stock indexes advanced on Wednesday ahead of a widely expected interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, while US Treasury yields fell on disappointing inflation data.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose to a record high, gaining 0.20 percent.
The Fed is expected to raise benchmark US rates to between 1.25 and 1.50 percent at a two-day policy meeting ending Wednesday (US time).
The pace at which the Fed and other central banks will tighten monetary policy is considered a top factor in extending the current bull market into 2018.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed down 0.30 percent.
Germany’s DAX fell 0.44 percent to close at 13,125.64.
Meanwhile, British shares traded sideways as investors’ anticipation of a rate rise from the US Fed drove financial stocks higher while high-yielding consumer stocks suffered.
The FTSE 100 ended flat, down 0.05 percent at 7,496.51.
Asian stocks mainly made solid gains on Wednesday.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.51 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.47 percent at 22,758.07.
Hong Kong stocks rebounded, underpinned by services and financial firms, with the Hang Seng index closing up 1.49 percent at 29,222.10.
China stocks also ended higher, aided by strong gains in consumer and transport firms.
The Shanghai Composite index closed 0.68 percent higher at 3,303.04.
The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.86 percent, at 4,050.09, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.49 percent, the consumer staples sector up 2.75 percent, the real estate index up 0.33 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.67 percent.
The SP/NZX 50 index increased 0.05 per cent, to 8,284.58.