The Australian share market faces an uncertain start to the new decade as a New Year’s Eve rally on Wall Street and bleak futures data hint at opposing prospects for local stocks.
The SPI200 futures contract was last down 138 points, or 2.05 per cent, at 6,603.0 on December 31, dated information that nonetheless suggests the benchmark S&P/ASX200 will extend its recent run of losses at the open of markets on Thursday.
However, the major US indexes also edged higher on Tuesday after President Donald Trump declared the phase one US-China trade deal would be signed on January 15.
The ASX finished 2019 with sharp losses, including a $40 billion dive on the final day of the year, as traders took some of the year’s phenomenal profits off the table.
The market gained 1,037.7 points in 2019 – a 18.38 per cent rise – for its best year since its 30.9 per cent climb from the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009.
However, for December, the ASX200 lost 161.8 points, or 2.36 per cent, in just its third losing month for the year.
The Australian dollar hit a more than five-month high of 70.32 US cents on December 31.
At 0800 AEDT Thursday it was buying 70.14 US cents.