The Australian share market looks set to open comfortably higher after a strong positive lead from Wall Street with the Dow heading for its first close above 26,000 points.

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 15 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 5,975.

In the US, Wall Street’s three main indexes have all risen more than one per cent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average looking assured in late trading of closing above the milestone 26,000 point mark for the first time.

At 1527 EST (0717 Thursday AEDT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.19 per cent at 26,100.97, the S&P 500 had gained 1.05 per cent to 2,805.54 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.02 per cent to 7,297.69.

Locally, in economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases labour force data at 1130 AEDT.

In equities news, BHP Billiton is expected to release its half-year operational review, while Woodside Petroleum and Whitehaven Coal are slated to provide quarterly production reports.

The Australian market on Wednesday ended a grim session lower, with the materials sector heavily sold down on shifting commodity prices and expectations of a correction.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 32.8 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 6,015.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 31.6 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 6,134.3 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has lifted half a US cent and is clinging to the upside of 80 US cents.

The local currency was trading at 80.06 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 79.51 on Wednesday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 80.06 US cents, from 79.51 on Wednesday

* 88.99 Japanese yen, from 88.14 yen

* 65.46 euro cents, from 64.92 euro cents

* 57.69 British pence, from 57.71 pence

* 109.66 NZ cents, from 109.80 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,327.899 per fine ounce, from $US1,334.36 per fine ounce on Wednesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0734pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7391pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.18 (implying a yield of 2.82pct), from 97.20 (implying a yield of 2.80pct) on Wednesday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.745 (2.255pct), from 97.775 (2.225pct).

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