The Australian share market looks set to open markedly higher after expectations that the US tax reform bill will be passed this week boosted Wall Street equities.
At 0700 AEDT on Tuesday, the share price futures index was up 29 points, or 0.48 percent, at 6,070.
In economic news on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia releases the minutes of its December board meeting.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence weekly survey is due out.
In equities news, ANZ has its annual general meeting scheduled for Sydney.
The Australian market on Monday closed at new post-GFC highs, with gains across the board led by takeover-talk and the big ticket miners and bankers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 41.9 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,038.9 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index lifted 42.9 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,130.0 points.
The Nasdaq has surpassed the 7,000-point mark for the first time, while the S&P and the Dow were at record levels on rising optimism among traders that a Republican promise of lower corporate tax rates could soon be a reality.
More Republicans on Sunday said they expected Congress to pass the tax bill this week, with a Senate vote set for Tuesday and President Donald Trump expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the week.
US stocks have enjoyed a near year-long rally, with the benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average set for their best year since 2013.
The bill proposes to cut corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent, which investors are betting will boost profits as well as trigger share buybacks and higher dividend payouts.
Another expected outcome of lower taxes is cash repatriation, which market analysts say, could boost mergers and acquisitions.
In late afternoon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.63 percent, at 24,805.82, the S&P 500 was up 0.62 percent, at 2,692.45 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.91 percent, at 7,000.05.
Gold prices rose Monday, supported by a weaker dollar.
Gold for February delivery climbed 0.6% to $1,265.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices had fallen to their lowest level since July last week before the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a third time this year, but have rebounded slightly in recent sessions with the dollar falling.
Among base metals, copper for March delivery swung between small gains and losses before closing up 0.4% at $3.1460 a pound in a ninth straight session of gains. The industrial metal sits near three-year highs, boosted by robust demand from China, the world’s largest consumer, and a favorable economic backdrop.
IRON ORE: $72.30 +4.25( January contract )
Oil futures ended slightly lower, failing to hang on to early gains as Nigerian oil workers agreed to suspend a strike.
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 14 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $57.16 a barrel.
The dollar fell Monday, weighed down by worries that the Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates at a faster pace next year despite solid U.S. growth.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 others, was recently down 0.4%.
Although the Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points last week, the central bank didn’t revise its long-term views on inflation and stuck to earlier projections of three rate increases next year. The outlook surprised some investors, who had expected the Fed to shift its views in light of more robust economic growth.
The Australian dollar has crept a tad higher against its US counterpart.
At 0635 AEDT on Tuesday, the Australian dollar was worth 76.65 US cents, up from 76.61 US cents on Monday.
The prospect of a cut in the US corporate tax rate also boosted European markets along with optimism that the formation of a government in Germany isn’t far off.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 1.18 percent, and the pan-European STOXX 600 rose 1.2 percent, while the benchmark MSCI World index, which tracks stocks around the globe, gained 0.89 percent to a record high.
Germany’s DAX index soared 1.59 per cent to 13,312.30.
UK shares also rose on Monday, although at a slightly lower pace than European peers.
Asian shares edged up on Monday, with sentiment boosted by expectations US lawmakers will pass a long-awaited tax bill this week, while Chinese stocks were soggy on concerns about liquidity and tighter regulations in the world’s second-largest economy.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.39 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei index was the best performer in the region, lifting 1.55 percent, to 22,901.77.
Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng index ended firmer, up 0.7 percent, at 29,050.41.
But the mood was less bright in Asia’s biggest economy where the People’s Bank of China increased rates on reverse repurchase agreements, or reverse repos, triggering concerns about tight year-end liquidity.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.07 percent at 3,267.92 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.11 percent at 3,985.29.
The S&P/NZX50 Index fell 16.71 points, or 0.2 percent, to 8344.15.