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Aust stocks to follow Wall Street higher

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ASX MARKET DROP

The Australian share market has lost ground in afternoon trade to close almost flat

The Australian share market is expected to open higher after US stocks rallied on the back of some strong company earnings reports.

At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the Australian share price futures index was up 24 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 5,842.

In the US, the three major Wall Street stock indexes gained more than one per cent as Netflix and UnitedHealth earnings impressed investors and boosted optimism about the US corporate reporting season..

The Australian share market on Tuesday closed almost flat as early gains drifted away following the Reserve Bank's comments that the next interest rate movement will likely be up..

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 0.2 of a point at 5,841.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 1.3 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,934.3 points.

In equities news on Wednesday, Rio Tinto releases its quarterly operations review, and the Woodside first quarter production report is due out.

The Australian dollar on Wednesday morning is lower, weighed down by the release of weaker than expected Chinese economic data.

At 0700 AEST, the local currency was worth 77.68 US cents, from 77.85 US cents on Tuesday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.68 US cents, from 77.85 on Tuesday

* 83.09 Japanese yen, from 83.22 yen

* 62.78 euro cents, from 62.78 euro cents

* 54.35 British pence, from 54.19 pence

* 105.77 NZ cents, from 105.61 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,346.80 per fine ounce, from $US1,348.19 per fine ounce on Tuesday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.118pct, unchanged from Tuesday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7321pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.245 (implying a yield of 2.755pct), from 97.225 (2.775pct) on Tuesday

* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.740 (2.260pct), from 97.735 (2.265pct)

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