Australia Markets closed

Aust shares look set to open up solidly

Chris Hutchings

Australian shares look set to open solidly higher, following strong gains in global markets.

The Australian share market looks set to follow Wall Street's recording making lead and open higher.

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 24 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 6,055.

In the US, the S&P500 index rose above the 2,700 point mark for the first time and other major indexes hit record highs as technology stocks climbed amid indications of robust economic growth in the US and overseas.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.28 per cent to 24,894.13, the S&P 500 had gained 0.54 per cent to 2,710.48 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.82 per cent, to 7,064.30.

In Europe, Germany's DAX jumped 0.83 per cent, while in Asia, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index crept closer to the all-time peak of 591.50 reached in late 2007.

Locally, no major economic or equities news is expected on Thursday.

The Australian market on Wednesday closed higher as surging iron ore and coking coal prices helped lift energy and mining sectors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 9.1 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 6,070.4 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index lifted 9.3 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,175.3.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has yo-yoed back up against a US dollar that has strengthened following signs strong US economic momentum with US factory activity increasing more than expected in December.

The local currency was trading at 78.40 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 78.22 on Wednesday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.40 US cents, from 78.22 on Wednesday

* 88.21 Japanese yen, from 87.82 yen

* 65.24 euro cents, from 64.87 euro cents

* 58.00 British pence, from 57.49 pence

* 110.36 NZ cents, from 110.21 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,313.162 per fine ounce, from $US1,314.60 per fine ounce on Wednesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0466pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6624pct unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.305 (implying a yield of 2.695pct), from 97.285 (implying a yield of 2.715pct) on Wednesday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.835 (2.165pct), from 97.825 (2.175pct).

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