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ASX follows Wall St, set to open softer

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The Australian share market is set to edge lower at the open, following Wall Street’s lead, after the US Federal Reserve announced it was keeping interest rates steady.

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The SPI200 futures contract was down 15 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 5,898.0 at 0700 AEDT on Friday, pointing to a subdued open for the ASX after banking and health care stocks lifted the market for a third straight session on Thursday.

The US central bank has kept rates steady due to ongoing strong job gains and household spending, which it said was keeping the country’s economy on track.

Investors, who are still digesting the country’s midterm election results, are now suggesting a rate hike will come in December.

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In the wake of the Fed’s decision, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 48.62 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 26,131.68, the S&P 500 lost 13.12 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 2,800.77 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 51.31 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 7,519.44.

Meanwhile the Australian dollar cooled overnight and is buying 72.50 US cents, down from 72.82 US cents on Wednesday