Australia Markets closed

Australian shares set to open lower


The Australian share market is expected to open sharply lower after US stocks slumped as President Donald Trump's move to impose tariffs on up to $US60 billion of Chinese imports drove fears about the impact on the global economy

At 0820 AEDT on Friday, the Australian share price futures index was down 89 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 5,829 points.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.93 per cent to 23,957.89, the S&P 500 lost 2.52 per cent to 2,643.69, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.43 per cent to 7,166.68.

The losses marked the biggest daily percentage drop for each of the major indexes since February 8, when the Dow and S&P confirmed a market correction from their January 26 highs.

The Australian share market on Thursday closed lower after the US central bank lifted interest rates and forecast further hikes in the years ahead.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 0.2 per cent to 5,937.2 points, as gains among energy and materials stocks were offset by weakness in all other sectors.

The Australian dollar has continued to slide against a stronger US currency on Friday morning, appearing to suffer from the US and China trade frictions.

At 0820 AEDT, the local currency was worth 76.96 US cents, up from 77.43 US cents on Thursday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 76.96 US cents, from 77.43 on Thursday

* 81.05 Japanese yen, from 82.01 yen

* 62.54 euro cents, from 62.72 euro cents

* 54.55 British pence, from 54.74 pence

* 106.83 NZ cents, from 107.14 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0820 AEDT was $US1,328.00 per fine ounce, unchanged from Thursday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0608pct, unchanged from Thursday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.67pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.31 (implying a yield of 2.69pct), from 97.285 (2.721pct) on Thursday

* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.825 (2.175pct), from 97.78 (2.22pct)

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