The Australian share market looks set to open more than a third of a per cent higher after the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rise buoyed Wall Street stocks.
At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 35 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 6,062.
In the US, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark overnight lending interest rates by a quarter percentage point, as anticipated, but left its rate outlook for the coming years unchanged even as policymakers projected a short-term acceleration in US economic growth.
The move helped boost equity markets but the US dollar lost ground.
In late afternoon trade (0730 Thursday AEDT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.41 per cent, the S&P 500 had gained 0.19 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.33 per cent.
Locally, in economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release November labour force data.
In equities news, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to release its ruling on the Woolworths-BP service station deal and Elders has its annual general meeting scheduled in Adelaide.
Meanwhile, Commonwealth Bank of Australia shares will be a key focus for investors as the big lender late Wednesday admitted to a significant number of the breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
The Australian market on Wednesday edged higher as the property sector was boosted by the $33 billion takeover of Westfield, and the consumer staples sector also rose.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 8.6 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 6,021.8 points to 1630 AEDT.
The broader All Ordinaries index rose 10 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 6,103.1 points.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is significantly higher against the US dollar which has weakened following the US central bank’s rate rise.
The local currency was trading at 76.36 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 75.75 on Wednesday.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 76.36 US cents, from 75.75 on Wednesday
* 85.90 Japanese yen, from 85.84 yen
* 64.61 euro cents, from 64.43 euro cents
* 56.91 British pence, from 56.83 pence
* 108.67 NZ cents, from 109.06 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,256.41 per fine ounce, from $US1,243.95 per fine ounce on Wednesday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9037pct, unchanged
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.4913pct, unchanged
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* December 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.4775 (implying a yield of 2.5225pct), from 97.455 (implying a yield of 2.545pct) on Wednesday
* December 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.005 (1.995pct), from 97.99 (2.01pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)