The Australian share market is due to open higher after US stocks notched solid gains recouping some of the market’s losses from a day earlier.
At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the Australian share price futures index was up 11 points, 0.2 per cent, at 6,110 points.
The Australian share market on Wednesday closed higher as energy companies were boosted by higher oil prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 9.2 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 6,107 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 9.4 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 6,208.1 points.
In economics news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data for April is due to be released.
The market is forecasting the unemployment rate to remain at 5.5 per cent and expects 20,000 jobs to be added in the month.
In equities news, Optus and DuluxGroup will release their full year and half year results, respectively, while Adelaide Brighton is due to host its annual general meeting.
US stocks notched solid gains recouping some of the market’s losses from a day earlier.
Technology and health care companies drove much of the rebound on Wednesday, outweighing losses in safe-play stocks like utilities and real estate investment trusts. Small-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market.
Macy’s led a rally among retailers after reporting surprisingly strong results, adding to the strong wave of corporate earnings in recent weeks.
The S&P 500 index rose 11.01 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,722.46. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 62.52 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 24,768.93. The increase nudged the 30-company average to a small gain for the year.
The Nasdaq composite added 46.67 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7,398.30.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,290.47 per fine ounce, unchanged from Wednesday.
IRON ORE: $67.73 +0.02 (June contract)
Oil prices climbed to fresh 3 1/2-year highs Wednesday amid signs that the oil glut has disappeared.
The U.S. dollar gained against the euro, as longer-term U.S. government bond yields rose modestly.
The dollar rose 0.3% against the euro, touching its highest level against the unified currency since Dec. 18. The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, fell less than 0.1% to 86.87.
The dollar’s rise relative to the euro was fueled by concerns about the formation of a new governing coalition in Italy. Two Italian antiestablishment parties are seeking to set up a coalition government that would advocate for procedures for countries that use the euro to exit from the European Currency Union. Yields on Italian government 10-year bonds rose to 2.089% from 1.950%.
The Australian dollar has bounced back overnight and is higher against the US dollar which has preserved its recent gains but made little headway.
At 0635 AEST on Thursday, the local currency was worth 75.15 US cents, from 74.84 cents on Wednesday.
Strong results from leading software company Micro Focus and a rally among mining stocks drove Britain’s FTSE 100 higher, while Crest Nicholson and mid-cap pub companies suffered sharp losses.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent at at 7,734.20 points by the close on Wednesday, flirting with the record high reached in mid-January.
Micro Focus was top of the heap, jumping 6.2 per cent to a two-month high after the software company won a new $40 million licensing deal earlier than expected, saying it would bolster first-half revenue.
The share price reached levels last seen in mid-March when a profit warning dented the stock.
Hong Kong stocks barely changed as renewed worries over North Korea and surging US bond yields dampened sentiment in Asian markets.
Pyongyang abruptly called off talks with Seoul, throwing a US-North Korean summit into doubt. The cancellation could see tension on the Korean peninsula flare again even as investors worry about China-US trade tensions and the sustainability of global economic growth.
The Hang Seng index ended 0.1 per cent down at 31,110.20, while the China Enterprises Index was unchanged at 12,440.12 points.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 1.8 per cent or 153.27 points lower at 8,555.51, in its biggest one-day drop since February.