The Australian share market is expected to open higher after Wall Street spent most of the night in positive territory.
At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the Australian share price futures index was up seven points, or 0.12 per cent, at 5,772.
Australian shares on Wednesday closed sharply lower, with broad losses across most sectors.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed down 42.8 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 5,789.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 44.5 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 5,899.2 points.
In economics news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases job vacancies for February.
In equities news, there will be a meeting of Oroton creditors to vote on a $25 million rescue plan to safeguard 350 jobs at the luxury handbag retailer.
US stocks have spent most of the session in positve territory, but the major stocks indexes suffered late falls, dragged down by a sharp drop in Amazon shares and declines in other technology stocks.
The benchmark S&P 500 moved in and out of positive territory following Tuesday’s late-session, tech-driven sell-off on the heels of Monday’s rally as traders adjusted to a return of volatility in recent weeks.
“We’re seeing a bit of a rotation away from technology and into some of the healthcare stocks and consumer staples-type names that you haven’t seen in a while,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I think we’re in for more choppiness for the next month until the earnings situation clarifies itself and some of the headline items, either good or bad, come to pass or get dropped along the way.”
At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 9.29 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 23,848.42, the S&P 500 lost 7.62 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 2,605.00 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 59.58 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 6,949.23.
Gold prices fell as investors sold the metal on signs of easing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea and a rally in the dollar.
Gold for June delivery was recently down 1.2% at $1,332.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
IRON ORE: $63.05 -0.16(April contract)
Oil prices fell for a third straight day Wednesday after government data showed that oil inventories grew last week and investors turned their focus from the geopolitical risks that boosted prices last week.
U.S. crude futures fell 87 cents, or 1.33%, to $64.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark fell 58 cents, or 0.83%, to $69.53 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
The U.S. dollar gained Wednesday after a Commerce Department report showed the economy grew faster than originally measured in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, rose 0.4% to 83.69. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S., rose at a 2.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter, adjusted for seasonality and inflation, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That exceeded economists’ expectations and was up from a previous estimate of 2.5% growth.
The Australian dollar has hit a three-month low as US stocks appear on track to post another day of losses, and base metal prices also suffered losses.
At 0635 AEDT on Thursday, the local currency was worth 76.62 US cents, down from 76.93 US cents on Wednesday.
A move into defensive stocks helped Britain’s FTSE climb to a one-week high on Wednesday, shaking off broader concerns over the US tech sector that rattled global equity markets. Shares in pharma firm Shire surged.
Shire Plc jumped around 14 per cent after Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co said it was considering a possible offer for the London-listed drugmaker.
“We see the possible strategic fit given the Japanese pharma’s focus therapeutic areas of oncology, gastrointestinal and neuroscience, with Shire bolstering the latter two franchises,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note.
The gains in Shire helped the FTSE recover early losses, as bad news about US tech giants and fears of a trade war fuelled concern over valuations across global equities.
Asian shares fell on Wednesday after Wall Street was knocked hard by concerns about tighter controls on the tech industry, denting a brief global equities recovery driven by hopes that the risk of a US-China trade war was easing.
They extended losses further after China’s state-run Global Times reported China will soon announce a list of retaliatory tariffs on United States exports to China.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.5 per cent, turning red for the week, led by information technology shares, such as Tencent. Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.3 per cent.
The S&P/NZX 50 index on Wednesday fell 1.4 per cent, to 8,388.08.