The Australian share market is expected to move into positive territory after a sharp rally in oil prices drove Wall Street higher.

But the upcoming US earnings reporting season – where company profits are expected to fall nine per cent across the board – may fuel apprehension among investors.

The ASX closed more than half a per cent lower on Friday, dragged down by weakness among the big banks amid ongoing concerns about potential bad debt levels.

However, the domestic futures contract was up 20 points after US stocks rose three per cent on Friday on the back of a more than six per cent surge in crude oil.

‘My best guess is we’ll probably see those 20 points gained at the opening of our market,’ AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver said on Sunday.

Continuing nervousness about the stability of the domestic financial sector saw the big four banks all close lower on Friday, but Dr Oliver suspects the worst could be over.

‘That’s unless another bank comes out with another profit warning or bad debt upgrade,’ he said.

The US reporting season, which begins in earnest next week with profits from Alcoa and four of the big banks, won’t help investor nerves.

‘Hopefully the expectations are too pessimistic,’ Dr Oliver said.

‘If there’s not a lot of other news, we will be affected by what’s going on in the US.’

Domestic figures around consumer confidence to be released next week will most likely be steady, but employment numbers could reveal around 10,000 jobs were created last month after a flat February, Dr Oliver said.

Investors will also be keeping an eye on figures from China, with GDP, retail and industrial production figures all expected to show soft growth.

‘It’s consistent with the overall view that growth in China might have stabilised recently’.

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