Shares are set to gain at the start of trade on the Australian market, after US stocks closed higher on investors’ hopes for more government stimulus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was higher by 34.0 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 5,935.0 at 0800 AEST on Tuesday.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow rose 0.59 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.65 per cent and the Nasdaq climbed 1.11 per cent.

Investors there were clinging to hopes for more stimulus after US House of Representatives Democrats last week unveiled a $US1.5 trillion infrastructure bill while reports also emerged of preparations by the Trump administration for an infrastructure stimulus plan.

The virus remains prevalent, however, with a dozen states in the US reporting record increases in new cases.

In Australia, traders will be watching for preliminary international trade figures from May to assess how the economy is faring during turbulent times.

There seems little prospect of international visitors to Australia anytime soon after Health Minister Greg Hunt this morning said the nation’s borders will remain closed for a very significant amount of time.

The share market closed flat for the second consecutive day on Monday. The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished up just 1.9 points, or 0.03 per cent, at 5,944 points

The Australian dollar rose amid broad US dollar weakness against a basket of currencies and was buying 69.12 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 68.58 US cents at the close of trade on Monday.