The Australian share market looks set to open around half a per cent higher with Wall Street offering a positive lead despite some of its earlier strong gains ebbing closer to the close.

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 29 points, or 0.49 per cent, at 5,943.

In the US, equities advanced confidently, buoyed by stocks in the economically sensitive tech and industrial sectors and the Dow was up 0.88 per cent, the S&P500 lifted 0.87 per cent and the Nasdaq 1.18 per cent.

However, the gains later ebbed and those marks were overwritten.

Late in the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.17 per cent, the S&P 500 was 0.57 per cent better off and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.60 per cent higher.

Locally, no major economic news is expected on Thursday.

In equities news, Qantas, Flight Centre, Nine Entertainment, Crown Resorts, Blackmores, Westfield Corporation, Ingham’s and Mortgage Choice are among the companies expected to report results on Thursday while Aristocrat Leisure is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting.

The Australian market on Wednesday closed flat, inching just inside positive territory, as well received financial results from Wesfarmers and The A2 Milk Company were countered by steep falls by heavyweight miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 2.8 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 5,943.7 while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 1.7 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 6,047.3 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has tumbled a third of a cent against its US counterpart, heading toward the 78 US cent mark.

The local currency was trading at 78.18 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 78.52 on Wednesday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 78.18 US cents, from 78.52 on Wednesday

* 84.28 Japanese yen, from 84.65 yen

* 63.58 euro cents, from 63.71 euro cents

* 56.13 British pence, from 56.17 pence

* 106.66 NZ cents, from 107.09 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,325.68 per fine ounce, from $US1,327.19 per fine ounce on Wednesday.


* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 2.0103pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.8096pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.125 (implying a yield of 2.875pct), from 97.145 (implying a yield of 2.855pct) on Wednesday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.850 (2.150pct), from 97.855 (2.145pct).

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