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Aust shares look set to open higher

Chris Hutchings
AAP

The Australian share market looks set to open comfortably higher on Thursday

The Australian share market looks set to open comfortably higher after Wall Street creeps up amid continued optimism over US tax reform which is seen as cutting corporate taxes.

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 22 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 5,973.

In the US, investors are evaluating the details of the new tax code as US Senate Republicans attempt to reconcile their version of the bill with that of the House of Representatives.

Support also came from a modest lift in Microsoft and other technology stocks which helped to offset losses in energy shares after oil prices dropped more than two per cent.

Shares of Microsoft, Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet rose more than one per cent as the technology sector recovered from a recent sell-off.

At 3.09 pm ET (0709 Thursday AEDT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.04 per cent, while the S&P 500 had gained 0.10 per cent.

But the real gainer was the Nasdaq Composite which had added 0.34 per cent.

Locally, in economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is set to release October's international trade in goods and services data, while the Australian Industry Group/HIA performance of construction index (PCI) is also due out.

In equities news, Nufarm has its annual general meeting scheduled.

Meanwhile, the Remix Summit Sydney for Asia Pacific is on in the Harbour City, bringing together pioneers from different industries to explore the future of the creative industries, with the likes of Lonely Planet, and Disney expected to attend.

The Australian market on Wednesday lost ground due to significant falls by healthcare and energy stocks and weakness in the materials and industrial sectors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 26.1 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 5,945.7 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index lost 27.4 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 6,029.9 points

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has continued its slide against a stronger US counterpart.

The local currency was trading at 75.63 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 75.84 on Wednesday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.63 US cents, from 75.84 on Wednesday

* 84.91 Japanese yen, from 84.99 yen

* 64.12 euro cents, from 64.03 euro cents

* 56.55 British pence, from 56.46 pence

* 109.98 NZ cents, from 109.78 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,263.726 per fine ounce, from $US1,267.45 per fine ounce on Wednesday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.8527pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.4701pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.475 (implying a yield of 2.525pct), unchanged from Wednesday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.045 (1.955pct), from 98.040 (1.960pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)