The Australian share market looks set to open more than a third of a percent lower after Wall Street went from little changed to negative and back again following the tax reform bill vote.
At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was down 22 points, or 0.36 percent, at 6,057.
No major economic news is expected on Thursday.
In equities news, Dulux Group and Incitec Pivot have their annual general meetings scheduled.
The Australian market on Wednesday turned around a negative start to the day to edge fractionally higher, as miners, energy producers, and several consumer-related stocks rose in value.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed hardly changed, up 3.8 points, or 0.06 percent, at 6,075.6 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index lifted 4.7 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,167.9 points.
Wall Street’s main indexes are flat, taking a breather after a month-long rally while US Treasury yields rise as a bill to cut $US1.5 trillion in taxes progressed toward the finish line.
The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping tax bill which will be the largest overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years. The Senate has already voted in favor of the bill.
The proposed changes include cutting the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, from 35 percent, from January 1, which could boost company earnings and pave the way for higher dividends and stock buybacks.
The S&P 500 has climbed about 4.7 percent since mid-November when the House passed the bill, led by a rally in sectors such as transport, banks and others that are expected to benefit the most from lower taxes.
Some market analysts say the market has already priced in the approval of the tax bill.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.11 percent, at 24,726.67.
The S&P 500 was down 0.05 percent, at 2,680.02.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.06 percent, at 6,959.79.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,265.506 per fine ounce, from $US1,263.37 per fine ounce on Wednesday.
Copper prices rose on Wednesday, boosted by optimism on growth in the U.S. and around the world.
Copper for March delivery closed up 1.4% at $3.1960 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since late October.
IRON ORE: $71.40 -0.20( January contract )
Oil futures settled higher Wednesday after government data showed U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than expected last week.
After an initial wobble following the data, oil returned to the upside, with February West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange rising 53 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $58.09 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude inventories fell 6.5 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 15.
Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast, on average, a decline of 3.2 million barrels. Brent crude for February delivery gained 76 cents per barrel or 1.19% to $64.56.
The U.S. dollar edged lower Wednesday, with investors assessing potential catalysts for the currency as Congress moved closer to passing a tax overhaul.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, fell 0.1% to 86.75. The dollar fell 0.4% against the euro.
The legislation will cut the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, a move lauded by companies as crucial for encouraging investment in the U.S. It will also allow faster write-offs for business investments, sharply limit companies’ ability to deduct interest expenses, and usher in a new set of untested rules for taxing international profits.
The Australian dollar is slightly higher against the greenback after the US tax reform bill – which will slash US company taxes – was passed by the US Senate.
At 0635 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian dollar was worth 76.66 US cents, up from 76.61 US cents on Wednesday.
European stock markets fell as investors awaited the passage of the $US1.5 trillion tax bill through the House of Representatives in Washington.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.73 percent, with blue-chip indexes in Berlin, Paris and London 0.3 to 1.1 percent lower.
Germany’s DAX was the worst performer, down 1.11 percent to 13,069.17, while London’s FTSE100 fell 0.25 percent to 7,525.22.
Asian shares were little changed in the main ahead of the US House of
Representative’s vote on the biggest overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bobbed lower in a choppy session, ending the session down 0.04 percent.
But Japan’s Nikkei index lifted slightly, finishing up 0.10 percent at 22,891.72.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index closed flat, down 0.07 percent at 29,234.09, while
the Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.31 percent to 11,505.88.
The top gainer on Hang Seng was Want Want China Holdings Ltd up 5.57 percent, while the biggest loser was Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd, which was down 3.35 percent.
But China’s main Shanghai Composite index was more decisive. It closed down 0.27 percent at 3,287.61 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.12 percent at 4,030.49.
The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 0.2 percent, to 8383.56.