The Australian share market is expected to open higher after US stocks bounced back from recent losses as traders look forward to US company earnings season with optimism.
At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the Australian share price futures index was up 19 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 5,740.
Australian shares on Tuesday closed slightly weaker but avoided most of the impact of falls in other equity markets.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed down 7.5 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 5,751.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 9.8 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5,859.1 points.
In economics news on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release retail trade figures for February, and building approvals data, also for February.
In equities news, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to make an announcement on allowing Saputo’s takeover of Australian dairy processor Murray Goulburn to go ahead.
The three major US stock indexes ended higher after a choppy session on Tuesday as investors looked forward to earnings season.
The S&P 500 pushed above a key support level and Amazon.com shares jumped on bets that criticism from President Donald Trump would not translate to policy changes.
Traders said they were heavily focused on technical levels after investors fled equities on Monday when the S&P 500 breached its 200-day moving average. The benchmark index pushed above that support level just ahead of the last hour of trading on Tuesday and stayed higher for the rest of the session.
“There was an opportunity for sellers to break through the 200-day but that didn’t happen. Fundamentals are holding the stock market up. We’re on the verge of the earnings reporting season. That’s going to be a blockbuster,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
Wall Street analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to increase 18.4 percent for the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,332.50 per fine ounce, from $US1,341.11 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
IRON ORE: $63.83 -1.70(May contract)
Oil prices rose but remained under pressure amid heightening trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose 50 cents, or 0.8%, to $63.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, gained 48 cents, or 0.7%, to $68.12 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar edged higher, recovering from earlier weakness, but lost ground versus its partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement, following a report that President Donald Trump was looking for a renegotiated deal in principle in the next two weeks.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the buck against six rivals, rose by 0.2% to 90.184. Similarly, the broader WSJ U.S. Dollar strengthened 0.2% to 83.88.
Versus the Japanese yen, the dollar strengthened to Y106.60, up from Y105.91 late Monday in New York, after Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said talking of a near-term exit from the BOJ’s ultraloose monetary policy was premature.
The Australian dollar is slightly lower as the US dollar flattens out after suffering three consecutive days of falls.
At 0635 AEST on Wednesday, the local currency was worth 76.84 US cents, down from 77.04 US cents on Tuesday.
Britain’s top share index declined with other European bourses at the start of the second quarter, but a few stocks such as Sky managed to rise through the session.
Shares in Sky closed up 2.1 per cent after Twenty-First Century Fox said it could legally separate Sky News within the group to allay British regulatory concerns about the channel’s independence under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership.
The blue chip FTSE 100 index ended the day down 0.37 per cent at 7,030.46 points, while mid caps fell 0.32 per cent, as trading resumed following the Easter market holiday.
Germany’s Dax 30 was down 0.78 per cent, and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.29 per cent.
Asian shares slipped on Tuesday amid escalating trade tensions and concerns about tech firms, although regional index declines were modest compared with those of their Wall Street counterparts as investors focused on global growth prospects.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.35 per cent on Tuesday, compared with losses of more than two per cent on each of the three Wall Street indices overnight.
“Markets are being supported by global growth, most indicators that have come out recently are pretty solid,” said Shane Oliver, Sydney-based chief investment strategist at AMP Capital.
“Asian investors have looked at the noise recently and said ‘well there is nothing really new in all this’,” Oliver added. “Cool heads are prevailing.”
Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.45 per cent, having gone as deep as 1.6 per cent earlier.
China’s Shanghai Composite index eased 0.84 per cent, but the Hang Seng gained 0.29 per cent.
On Tuesday, New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.13 per cent, to 8,329.93.