The Australian sharemarket is tipped to rise slightly at its open, reversing Friday’s losses on the back of firm performance on Wall Street and in Europe.

The ASX200 futures saw a 20-point decline on Friday ahead of an expected weakness on Wall Street that never really eventuated, AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver told AAP on Sunday.

Eurozone shares and the Dow Jones both dropped slightly – but did not tumble as far as expectations while the S&P500 had virtually no movement on Friday.

‘We had a 20-point drop but I expect we’ll see a small rise at the open by about 15 points, not a lot to get too excited about,’ Dr Oliver said.

The Australian dollar has pushed slightly higher to 72 cents, largely because the US Central Bank has kept interest rates on hold which has seen other global currencies including the Euro creep up against it.


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Dr Oliver expects to see a fall in consumer confidence when Westpac releases its January figures on Wednesday.

He’s tipping the same for November’s housing finance figures on Thursday.

‘They’re expected to show a fall of 1.5 per cent, consistent with ongoing weakness in the housing sector,’ he said.

Chinese export and import numbers, a strong indicator of the global economy, are expected to show slight softening as well.

This week’s US data is expected to be ‘mixed’ with retail figures for December showing a slight rise but housing figures will be soft.

The US federal government shutdown, which is threatening to become the longest in history, has likely had no impact on investors as yet, Dr Oliver says, but it could if the stalemate continues.

‘If it ends now it’ll have zilch impact on investors,’ he said.

‘But if it keeps going for weeks you’ll see government agencies shutting.’

Worse still, Dr Olvier says, it signals the US government is too dysfunctional to easily raise the debt limit – an issue it must face some time after March.

Brexit continues to dominate the UK with a parliamentary vote scheduled for Tuesday expected to fail to gain support.

For now the uncertainty caused by the ‘Brexit mess’ is expected to drag on.