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Australian share market set to open higher


The Australian share market is expected to open higher after US stocks climbed amid anticipation for a strong earnings season, and as US President Donald Trump's suggestion that a military strike on Syria may not be imminent eased geopolitical worries.

At 0700 AEST on Friday, the Australian share price futures index was up 18 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 5,815 points.

In the US, stocks closed higher after President Trump tweeted that a possible attack on Syria could occur "very soon or not so soon at all", easing fears of confrontation with Russia.

Investors may have also been pleased to hear that, according to a group of legislators, President Trump asked members of his administration to explore the possibility of rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Strong quarterly results from BlackRock Inc and Delta Air Lines Inc added to the sanguine mood, with analysts tipping quarterly profit for S&P 500 companies to rise 18.4 per cent from a year ago.

The Australian market on Thursday closed lower as increasing tensions between the US and Russia over Syria unnerved investors.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 13.2 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,815.5 points while the broader All Ordinaries was down 14.4 points, or 0.24 per cent, at 5,911.4 points.

In economics news on Thursday, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release the Financial Stability Review which will provide a half-yearly assessment on the current condition of the financial system and potential risks to financial stability.

The RBA is expected to touch on key themes including recent increases in funding costs, assessments of lending standards, changes in household leverage and the slippage in house prices.

In equities, construction and contract mining giant CIMIC Group is due to hold its annual general meeting in Sydney.

The Australian dollar on Friday morning is slightly higher against a stronger US dollar which was buoyed by President Trump's more conciliatory trade comments.

At 0700 AEST on Friday, the local currency was worth 77.54 US cents, up from 77.48 US cents on Thursday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 77.54 US cents, from 77.48 on Thursday

* 83.219 Japanese yen, from 82.81 yen

* 62.91 euro cents, from 62.69 euro cents

* 54.50 British pence, from 54.64 pence

* 105.15 NZ cents, from 105.10 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,334.45 per fine ounce, from $US1,350.249 per fine ounce on Thursday


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0286pct, unchanged from Thursday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.633pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.26 (implying a yield of 2.74pct), from 97.325 (2.675pct) on Thursday

* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.79 (2.21pct), from 97.83 (2.17pct)

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