The Australian sharemarket is expected to open with gains on Monday after a three-day Australia Day weekend following strong gains in North America and Europe on Friday.
The S&P/ASX200 futures is pointing to a 0.5 per cent gain on Monday.
US markets were up again on Friday and the three major indices, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all up more than two per cent for the week, driven by strong profit results from pharmaceutical and technology companies including Intel.
‘The big picture environment is positive,’ CommSec chief economist Craig James told AAP.
‘European and US companies are making money and the profit reporting season has been good, economic data hasn’t been so bad either and the US economy grew 2.6 per cent at an annual pace in the December quarter,’
However Australian shares could be weighed down by the fact that commodity prices were not as positive last week, with iron ore and gold down, and a strong Australian dollar above 81 US cents hurting exporters, he said.
Volatility is also higher, with the US greenback falling to a three-year low in a confusing scenario last week in which President Donald Trump supported a strong currency, contradicting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin endorsing a weak dollar.
Australian inflation data for the December quarter will be released on Wednesday, with underlying inflation tipped to be below target and subdued at 0.5 per cent.
The CommSec State of the States report comparing the eight territory and state economies is out Monday.
The S&P/ASX200 was up 0.7 per cent over last week but closed on Thursday 0.8 per cent lower at 6,050 points.