The Australian share market looks set to open comfortably higher after Wall Street’s key indexes again swung between gains and losses, though less brutally than earlier in the week.
The share price futures index closed up 22 points at 5812.
Locally, no major economic news is expected during Thursday’s trading day. However, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe is slated to speak at the Economic Forum dinner in Sydney.
In equities news, AMP is slated to release full-year results, AGL Energy, Mirvac, and Tabcorp are expected to post half-year results, while National Australia Bank is scheduled to provide a quarterly update and BHP Billiton says is expected to make an
announcement regarding Olympic Dam.
The Australian market on Wednesday clawed back about $17 billion as Asian markets recovered from the impact of a three-day meltdown on Wall Street.
US stocks have swung up and down in choppy trading as technology and energy stocks fall, though with milder momentum than earlier in the week.
The benchmark S&P 500 edged lower after two days of big moves, including its largest single-day percentage loss in more than six years on Monday.
While Wednesday’s trading lacked the wild swings of the prior two sessions, the Dow industrials moved in a more than 500-point range, more than three times the average daily swing over the past year.
In late afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.77 per cent, at 25,105.75, the S&P 500 was up 0.08 per cent to 2,697.25 while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.21 per cent, to 7,100.72.
Copper prices fell to their lowest level since December on Wednesday, as oil prices declined and the dollar rose.
Copper for March delivery closed down 3.2% at $3.0875 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In precious metals, gold for April delivery fell 1.1% to $1,314.60 a troy ounce.
IRON ORE: $74.499 +0.40(March contract)
Oil prices dropped Wednesday, with the U.S. benchmark marking its lowest settlement in about a month.
The Energy Information Administration reported a second-straight weekly increase in U.S. crude stockpiles and data from the agency showed weekly domestic crude production topped 10 million barrels a day to reach a fresh record.
March West Texas
Intermediate crude fell $1.60, or 2.5%, to settle at $61.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
That was the lowest finish since Jan. 8, according to FactSet data.
Brent crude for April delivery lost $1.35 per barrel, or 2.02%, to $65.51.
The U.S. dollar rose as investors remained cautious in the aftermath of the recent spike in market volatility.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, rose 0.5% to 84.19. Even as the dollar gained broadly, it declined 0.5%
against the Japanese yen, which investors often see as a haven in times of risk and uncertainty.
The gains were a continuation of the advances for the currency that came amid the sharp drop in stock prices last week and on Monday, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average record its biggest single-day point decline on record.
Wells Fargo continues to forecast that the dollar will decline over the medium- and longer-term.
European shares closed higher as investors hunt for bargains after the global stock sell-off and short-sellers cover their positions.
The Stoxx Europe 600 closed up 2%, or 7.34 points at 380.13 while France’s CAC-40 rose 1.8% and Germany’s DAX gained 1.6%.
Swedish measuring technology group Hexagon was among the biggest risers, up 10% after a 13% rise in operating net sales. Finnish drug company Orion Oyj fell 10.5% after it warned on 2018 sales and profit.
A strong early performance in Asian equities failed to last Wednesday, as some markets barely finished higher while others skidded.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average, which slumped 4.7% Tuesday to fall into correction territory, posted an early 3.4% rebound but closed up just 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.9% after rising as much as 2.9% earlier, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.8%.
Some asset managers are also concerned about the possibility that inflation could rise at a faster face than anticipated, driving central banks to tighten monetary policy faster.
This was the issue that sparked the first round of stock selling on Friday, driven by a rise in government-bond yields that make shares less attractive by comparison.