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Aust shares look set to open higher


The Australian market looks set to open higher after Wall Street mainly gained with investors remaining hopeful that US President Donald Trump will be able to progress his tax reform plan.

At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was up 14 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 5,660.

In the US, the S&P 500 eked out a record on gains in McDonald's and healthcare names, but gains were tempered with stocks at record highs and valuations elevated.

The forward price-to-earnings ratio on the S&P stood at 17.9 compared with its long-term average of 15.1 while the forward P/E on the Russell is 26.3 against an average of 21.3.

Also, a Commerce Department report showed that the economy grew a bit faster than previously estimated in the second quarter, but the momentum probably slowed in the third as hurricanes Harvey and Irma temporarily curbed activity.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.18 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.12 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite was flat.

Locally, no major economic news is expected on Friday

In equities news, luxury goods retailer Oroton is due to release its full-year results, while Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Nev Power and ANZ launch an indigenous business funding initiative in Sydney.

The Australian market on Thursday closed ended the day modestly higher, while a surge in the US greenback has helped push the Aussie dollar to its lowest level in more than two months.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 6.1 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 5670.4 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index lifted 6 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,731.5 points

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has recouped its previous local session's losses as the US dollar index dropped 0.3 per cent in the offshore session.

The local currency was trading at 78.57 US cents at 0700 AEST on Friday, from 78.13 on Thursday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.57 US cents, from 78.13 on Thursday

* 88.23 Japanese yen, from 88.30 yen

* 66.64 euro cents, from 66.53 euro cents

* 58.43 British pence, from 58.39 pence

* 108.56 NZ cents, from 108.80 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,286.90 per fine ounce, from $US1,280.36 per fine ounce on Thursday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0632pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.8062pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.135 (implying a yield of 2.865pct), from 97.11 (implying a yield of 2.89pct) on Thursday

* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 97.80 (2.20pct), from 97.79 (2.21pct).

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