The Australian share market looks set to open slightly higher after Wall Street struggled to make gains, pressured by losses in healthcare and bank stocks.
At 0700 AEDT on Tuesday, the share price futures index was up eight points, or 0.13 percent, at 6,089.
In economic news on Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release November’s building approvals figures, while the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence weekly survey is also due out.
No major equities news is expected.
The Australian market on Monday closed slightly higher despite the market giving up most of its early gains, lifted by support for big banks, telcos, and healthcare stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 8.1 points, or 0.13 percent, to 6,130.4 points.
The broader All Ordinaries index gained 6.8 points, or 0.11 percent, at 6,236.5.
The S&P 500 and the Dow have struggled to edge higher, stalling the strong rally that marked the start of 2018, pressured by losses in healthcare and bank stocks.
The S&P and the Nasdaq last week recorded its strongest first four trading days in a year since 2006, and the Dow industrials posted its best since 2003.
In late trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.13 percent, at 25,262.71.
The S&P 500 was up 0.004 percent, at 2,743.28 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 10.17 percent, at 7,148.99.
Investors have been waiting for the fourth-quarter earnings reports to gauge the impact of recent tax cuts. The earnings season kicks off later this week, starting with big banks.
Shares of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo were down between 0.74 percent and 1 percent. Most big US lenders have estimated one-off charges to their fourth
quarter earnings on account of tax cuts.
The S&P healthcare index fell 0.7 percent and was the biggest loser among the major S&P sectors on the first day of JP Morgan annual healthcare conference in San Francisco.
Gold prices inched lower, weighed down by a stronger dollar.
Front-month gold for January delivery fell 0.1% to $1,318.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices had risen in 11 straight sessions and 15 of the last 16 trading days entering Monday, boosted by the dollar’s recent declines.
Among base metals, front-month copper for January delivery swung between small gains and losses and closed down at $3.2010 a pound. The industrial metal is near its highest level since 2014, buoyed by robust global demand and several supply disruptions.
IRON ORE: $74.01 +0.26(February contract)
Crude prices rose Monday, holding onto robust gains made last week on tighter stocks in the U.S. and perceived risks to global supply.
U.S. crude futures rose 29 cents, or 0.47%, to $61.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, rose 16 cents, or 0.24%, to $67.78 a barrel in ICE Futures Europe.
The euro fell Monday, as investors took profits amid concerns that the European Central Bank may attempt to talk down the surging currency ahead of its monetary policy meeting later this month.
The euro was recently down 0.5% at $1.1970.
A strengthening economic recovery has helped lift the euro more than 13% over the last year. Some investors believe the euro’s rally may not sit well with the ECB, as a stronger currency tends to push down inflation and make exporters’ goods less competitive abroad.
ECB officials are “unlikely to be pleased with a stronger euro and low inflation, so the market is treading a little more carefully,” said Joe Manimbo, a strategist at Western Union.
The Australian dollar has slipped a little against its US counterpart which has strengthened to a one-week high against a basket of six major currencies.
At 0635 AEDT on Tuesday, the Australian dollar was worth 78.39 US cents, down slightly from 78.41 US cents on Monday.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.26 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.01 percent on Monday.
A surprise dip in German industrial orders, which fell in November for the first time since July, appeared unlikely to dent growing confidence in the euro zone’s biggest economy after a strong run of positive economic news.
Germany’s DAX lifted 0.36 percent to close at 13,367.78.
The FTSE 100 underperformed European benchmarks, ending the session down 0.36 percent, to 7,696.51, with tech and health care the biggest weights. Mid-caps also fell 0.4 percent while small caps clung on to a 0.2 percent gain despite some big single-stock falls.
Ripples through the retail sector dented British stocks as small-cap Mothercare sank by a third after a profit warning, while software firm Micro Focus dropped nearly 17 percent after cutting guidance.
Asian shares crept toward all-time peaks on Monday after Wall Street boasted its best start to a year in over a decade, with brisk economic growth and benign inflation proving a potent cocktail for risk appetites.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was 0.33 percent firmer, while Tokyo’s Nikkei lifted 0.89 percent to 23,714.53.
Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index rose for a 10th session in a row, aided by bullish sentiment in global equity markets, and inbound investment from the mainland.
The Hang Seng index rose 0.28 percent to 30,899.53, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index added 0.19 percent to 12,235.19.
China’s main share indexes climbed for a seventh straight session, boosted by robust gains for real estate firms as major developers reported stellar 2017 sales. The indexes closed at their highest in six weeks.
The Shanghai Composite index gained 0.54 percent at 3,410.00, while the blue-chip CSI300 index improved 0.52 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.47 percent.
The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 0.4 percent, to 8,425.48.