The Australian share market looks set to open slightly higher after mainly positive finishes on global markets in the offshore session.
At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the share price futures index was up 10 points, or 0.17 percent, at 6,010.
In economic news on Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is scheduled to release national accounts figures, including gross domestic product data, for the March quarter.
No major equities news is expected.
The Australian market on Tuesday was hit by falls in the heavyweight energy and mining sectors caused by weaker commodity prices.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 30.6 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 5,994.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 30.1 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 6,108.5 points
The Nasdaq has closed at a record high for the second consecutive day with help from the technology and consumer discretionary sectors, while the S&P 500 edged higher as investors eyed solid US economic data.
However, bank stocks declined along with US Treasury yields, and investors appeared to favour bonds over defensive equity sectors such as utilities and consumer staples.
The US services sector activity accelerated in May, pointing to robust economic growth in the second quarter, although trade tariffs and a shortage of workers posed a threat to the outlook.
Investors were hoping for signs of political stability in Italy as the new, anti-establishment government won its first vote of confidence in the upper house Senate and the prime minister promised radical changes, including more generous welfare and a crackdown on immigration.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.06 per cent, to 24,799.98, the S&P 500 gained 0.07 per cent, to 2,748.8 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.41 per cent, to 7,637.86.
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,296.07 per fine ounce, from $US1,293.79 per fine ounce on Tuesday.
IRON ORE: $64.88 +0.50(June contract)
U.S. oil prices traded slightly higher, attempting to recoup some lost ground after posting three straight sessions of declines as traders looked ahead to an expected decision by major producers to increase their crude output.
The euro gained on the U.S. dollar following a report that the European Central Bank would discuss an exit from its quantitative easing program next week.
Elsewhere, traders focused on Italian politics and developments surrounding a new North American trade deal.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the buck against six rivals, was down 0.1% at 93.900. The broader WSJ Dollar Index recovered some from an earlier slide and was last little changed in negative territory at 87.09.
The euro, the dollar’s main rival – climbed to $1.1713, compared with $1.1699 late Monday in New York.
The Australian dollar is down against its US counterpart which has enjoyed a rally as more strong US economic data prompts positive sentiment.
At 0635 AEDT on Wednesday, the Australian dollar was worth 76.15 US cents, down from 76.38 US cents on Tuesday.
Royal Bank of Scotland weighed on Britain’s FTSE 100 on Tuesday after the government took a loss selling a stake in the bank, while a rising pound after strong services data piled extra pressure on the internationally-exposed index.
The top share index closed down 0.7 per cent as strong data in the services sector pushed sterling higher and weighed on dollar earners.
Shares in RBS fell 5.1 per cent after the government sold 7.7 per cent of the lender for 2.5 billion pounds ($3.33 billion), realising a loss of $2.66 billion.
The drop in RBS shares dragged on the financials sector, the biggest weight on the FTSE. HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays fell between 1 per cent and 3 per cent.
Cruise and travel company Carnival posted the worst performance and lost 6.2 per cent.
The FTSE100 lost 0.70 per cent.
Meanwhile, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.32 per cent.
Germany’s DAX bucked the trend, gaining 0.13 per cent to 12,787.13 points.
Asian stocks climbed on Tuesday.
MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.09 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.28 per cent at 22,539.54.
Hong Kong shares rose slightly, with sentiment aided by a private survey showing China’s services sector expanded at a steady pace in May, with companies accelerating hiring on the back of the strongest optimism for future growth in 11 months.
The Hang Seng index rose 0.3 per cent, to 31,093.45, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 per cent, to 12,259.32 points.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.99 per cent to 3,845.32, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.7 per cent at 3,114.21.
New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index soared 1.48 per cent to close at 5,789.89.