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Aust shares set to open sharply higher

Chris Hutchings
AAP

The Australian share market looks set to open more than half a per cent higher, following strong gains on US markets and fresh record highs elsewhere.

At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the share price futures index was up 35 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 6,059.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke through the 25,000 level for the first time, the euro zone's STOXX 50 had its best day since April 2017, Britain's FTSE 100 hit a record of 7,702.11 points on strong services sector data for December, before dropping back a little.

And in Asia, stock markets ended in a sea of green and with records broken.

Tokyo's Nikkei - Asia's biggest market - shot to its highest since 1991 with a 3.3 per cent surge before it too slipped slightly to close 3.26 per higher, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng hit a fresh 10-year high.

Locally, in economic news on Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is slated to release November international trade in goods and services data.

In equities news, Bega Cheese has an extraordinary general meeting scheduled and vote on its share placement.

The Australian market on Thursday closed slightly higher with strong performances in the healthcare and energy sectors helping to offset a weak session for the big miners and banks.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 6.7 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 6,077.1 points.

The broader All Ordinaries index gained 10.1 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 6,185.4 points

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has soared against the US dollar, amid higher commodity prices.

The local currency was trading at 78.65 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Friday, from 78.39 on Thursday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.65 US cents, from 78.39 on Thursday

* 88.67 Japanese yen, from 88.31 yen

* 65.15 euro cents, from 65.22 euro cents

* 58.03 British pence, from 58.00 pence

* 109.82 NZ cents, from 110.33 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1.324.59 per fine ounce, from $US1,310.10 per fine ounce on Thursday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0148pct, from 2.0158pct

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6236pct, from 2.6246pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.355 (implying a yield of 2.645pct), from 97.320 (implying a yield of 2.680pct) on Thursday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.875 (2.125pct), from 97.850 (2.150pct)

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