The Australian share market looks set to open half a per cent higher after comfortable rises on key overseas indexes and another record higher for the Nasdaq.
At 0700 AEST on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 30 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 6054.
Global markets fared well in the offshore session with risk sentiment improved further with recent upbeat economic data sparking more confidence.
In economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases international trade and goods and services data for April.
The Ai Group’s performance of construction index is also due out.
In equities news, Coles, Bunnings and Officeworks owner Wesfarmers has a Strategy Day where key executives will lay out the company’s business plan and take questions from investors and analysts.
The Australian market on Wednesday closed higher thanks to higher prices for iron oreand oil and stronger-than-expected economic growth figures.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 30.2 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6,025.1 points while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 28.9 points, or 0.47 per cent, to close at 6,137.4 points.
Wall Street indexes have rallied with help from financial stocks as investors eye strong economic data and trade war fears take a back seat while the Nasdaq registers its third straight record closing high.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late in the trading day that US president Donald Trump will meet French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau during a G7 summit this week.
While he said Trump is not backing down from the tough line he has taken on trade, the comments appeared to calm investors.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4 per cent, to 25,146.39, the S&P 500 gained 0.86 per cent, to 2,772.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.67 per cent, to 7,689.24.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,296.17 per fine ounce, from $US1,297.72 per fine ounce on Wednesday.
IRON ORE: $65.45 +0.57(July contract)
Oil prices fell near a two-month low Wednesday, weighed down by data showing increased U.S. stockpiles and production.
The dollar fell Wednesday, weighed down by weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data and a rising euro.
The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was recently down 0.2% to 86.91.
U.S. worker productivity rose more slowly than originally estimated in the first three months of 2018, a potential headwind to stronger economic growth going forward.
The Australian dollar has crept higher, extending its post-gross domestic product rally against a defensive US counterpart.
At 0635 AEST on Thursday, the Australian dollar was worth 76.66 US cents, up from 76.54 US cents on Wednesday.
Gains among mining stocks on stronger metal prices helped British shares outperform a sluggish European equity market on Wednesday, while packaging firm RPC sold off sharply after updating investors on its spending plans.
The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 index rose 0.33 per cent to close at 7,712.37 points, and mid-caps climbed 0.6 per cent. The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended flat.
Miners provided the biggest uplift to the FTSE as base metal prices rose, with copper and lead gaining ground on prospects of a supply squeeze.
Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta all rose more than 3 per cent, while BHP Billiton gained 2.5 per cent on reports the Anglo-Australian miner had received first bids for its US shale business.
Asia’s key indexes followed the positive trend in the main.
MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.63 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.38 per cent at 22,625.73.
Hong Kong shares ended higher, clocking a fifth straight session of gains, with investors keeping an eye on the latest developments in Sino-US trade talks.
The Hang Seng index rose 0.53 per cent, to 31,259.10, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 per cent, to 12,283.58 points.
Shanghai stocks ended flat, as gains in transport and material firms were offset by losses in banking and real estate shares.
The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.21 per cent lower at 3,837.35 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed flat at 3,115.18 points.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.64 per cent to close at 8,813.45.