The Australian share market looks set to open sharply lower after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell into the red after earlier breaching the 26,000 point mark for the first time.
At 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, the share price futures index was down 31 points, or 0.52 percent, at 5,961.
In economic news on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release November’s housing finance data.
In equities news, metals and mining company South32 is slated to release quarterly results.
The Australian market on Tuesday closed weaker, led into the red by retreating financial and energy stocks, while the Australian dollar continued its upward run towards 80 US cents.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 28.5 points, or 0.47 percent, to 6,048.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 21.8 points, or 0.35 percent, to 6,165.9 points
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has raced past the 26,000 mark for the first time as fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a strong start following upbeat results from UnitedHealth and Citigroup.
The blue-chip index, however, eased from its peak as a pullback in oil prices weighed on energy stocks.
UnitedHealth rose 2.5 percent after the largest US health insurer reported results that beat estimates and raised its 2018 earnings outlook.
Citigroup Inc rose 1.13 percent after the lender reported a profit that topped expectations as strength in consumer businesses made up for lower revenue from bond and currency trading.
Hopes of strong earnings, supported by a steep cut in corporate taxes, and solid global economic growth have bolstered Wall Street’s optimism in the start to 2018.
In late afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost momentum and was down 0.11 at 25,775.87. The S&P500 was down 0.31 percent at 2,777.67, while the Nasdaq had fallen 0.44 percent to 7,229.00.
Gold prices reversed earlier losses to close higher for a fourth straight session, helped by declines in the dollar and U.S. stocks.
Front-month gold for January delivery closed up 0.1% to $1,335.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures extended those gains slightly in after-hours trading.
Among base metals, front-month copper also largely pared earlier losses and closed down less than 0.1% at $3.1990 a pound. Prices have fallen about 3% from nearly four-year highs hit in late December, with some analysts attributing the declines to profit-taking following a robust base metals rally in the second half of last year.
IRON ORE: $73.47 -2.19(February contract)
Oil prices fell Tuesday, breaking a streak of gains and raising questions about whether oil’s recent rally is running out of steam.
After the dollar attempted to break a four-session losing run early on Tuesday, analysts who called it nothing but a pause from the sell-off were vindicated when the buck pared its gains in the early New York afternoon.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the buck against a basket of six rival currencies, gave up the modest gains it held on to for most of the day, leaving the index little changed from Monday, when it hit a three-year low.
The broader WSJ U.S. Dollar Index was also little changed.
The euro reclaimed some of its lost ground at $1.2266, little changed from late Monday in New York.
The Australian dollar has slipped against its US counterpart which has recouped a little of its recent losses.
European shares ended little changed on Tuesday as losses among commodity stocks more than offset initial gains due to a series of well-received trading updates.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended flat, while eurozone stocks added 0.3 percent as the euro gave up some of its strength against the US dollar.
Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.35 per cent to 13,246.33.
Fashion house Hugo Boss was among the biggest gainers in Europe, up 3.7 percent, after it reported a rebound in growth at its own stores, a jump in online sales and a recovery in the United States.
Provident financial however fell 12.6 percent after it said it expected to report a loss of about 120 million pounds ($A207.9 million) at its consumer credit division – the upper end of its guidance.
Oil and mining companies dragged Britain’s FTSE 100 index to a negative close on Tuesday, tracking energy and metals prices lower, after gaining earlier in the session on a fall in sterling.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended down 0.17 percent at 7,755.93 points, retreating further from a record set last week and slightly underperforming the broader European market.
Asia’s big bourses kept world shares on their record-breaking run on Tuesday, although a steadier US dollar halted the sizzling start to the year for the euro, yen, and yuan and sent metals markets down sharply.
MSCI’s all-country world index notched its third consecutive all-time high as growing confidence about the global economy pushed Japan’s heavyweight Nikkei to its best level since 1991 during a lively Asian session.
MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.54 percent, while Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 1.0 percent to 23,951.81.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose to a record closing high, led by index heavyweight Tencent Holdings and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.
The Hang Seng index gained 1.81 percent to 31,904.75. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2.54 percent to 12,787.28.
The top gainer on Hang Seng was Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd up 5.43 percent, while the biggest loser was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc which was down 3.66 percent.
China’s main Shanghai Composite index lifted 0.77 percent to 3,436.33 while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.79 percent to 4,258.47.
The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 0.5 percent to 8250.54.