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Australian market set to open sharply down

AAP

The Australian market looks set to follow the negative lead of international markets and open sharply lower as growing tension between the US and North Korea send investors away from equities and toward safer havens.

At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was down 68 points, or 1.19 per cent, at 5,631.

Across the board internationally equities have closed lower as the geopolitical tension dents investor confidence and sends them toward safer assets such as gold and US Treasuries.

In the US, the S&P 500 suffered its worst one-day loss in nearly three months while the Nasdaq lost more than two per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.93 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 1.45 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.13 per cent.

Locally, in economic news on Friday, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe appears before the House of Representatives Economics Committee.

In equities, REA Group, and Baby Bunting are slated to post full-year results while News Corp releases four-quarter and full-year results and Ardent Leisure releases its preliminary unaudited figures.

National Australia Bank is expected to provide a third-quarter trading update.

The Australian market on Thursday gave up early gains to close lower with investor confidence dented amid escalating tension between the US and North Korea .

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 4.8 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 5,760.9 points

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 5.8 points, or 0.1 per cent, at 5,810.6 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is down against all the major currencies including an easing greenback - with the US dollar index falling 0.2 per cent.

The local currency was trading at 78.76 US cents at 0700 AEST on Friday, from 78.80 on Thursday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.76 US cents, from 78.80 on Thursday

* 86.00 Japanese yen, from 86.63yen

* 66.89 euro cents, from 67.16 euro cents

* 60.68 British pence, from 60.73 pence

* 108.24 NZ cents, from 108.30 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,286.18 per fine ounce, from $US1,278.48 per fine ounce on Thursday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.8831pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6034pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* August 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.385 (implying a yield of 2.615pct), from 97.345 (2.655pct) on Thursday

* August 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.05 (1.95pct), from 98.03 (1.97pct).

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)