The Australian share market looks set to open firmly in positive territory, as US equities gain for their fifth straight session with investors seemingly forgetting their fears over inflation.
At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the share price futures index was up 18 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 5,880.
US stocks were led higher by tech stocks, in particular Apple which lifted 3.2 per cent after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made the iPhone maker its top investment.
Plus, official Consumer Price Index data for January likely helped calm fears that inflation was picking up faster than anticipated when it came in in line with expectations.
At 3.32 pm Thursday ET (0732 Friday AEDT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.01 per cent, while the S&P 500 had gained 1.04 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.42 per cent.
Locally, in economic news on Friday, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe is due to give his half-yearly testimony before the federal parliament’s Economics Committee.
In equities news, Medibank Private, The Star Entertainment Group, Primary Health Care, Village Roadshow, IOOF Holdings, iSelect, and Whitehaven Coal are expected to release earnings reports.
The Australian market on Thursday posted its best session in seven months due to positive half-year earnings results and strong gains for the miners and the energy producers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 67.8 points, or 1.16 per cent, to 5,909.0 points while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 68.7 points, or 1.16 per cent, to 6,008.7 points.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is hardly changed against its US counterpart which has continued to weaken in the offshore session.
The local currency was trading at 79.35 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Friday, from 79.37 on Thursday.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 79.35 US cents, from 79.37 on Thursday
* 84.30 Japanese yen, from 84.55 yen
* 63.44 euro cents, from 63.67 euro cents
* 56.31 British pence, from 56.64 pence
* 107.13 NZ cents, from 107.57 cents
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,355.00 per fine ounce, from $US1,354.41 per fine ounce on Thursday.
BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:
* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0035pct, unchanged
* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.8669pct, unchanged
Sydney Futures Exchange prices:
* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.105 (implying a yield of 2.895pct), from 97.085 (implying a yield of 2.915pct) on Thursday
* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.85 (2.15pct), from 97.84 (2.16pct).
(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEDT previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEDT previous local session)