The Australian share market is set for strong start after a rally on Wall Street following the US Federal Reserve reiterating supportive measures for the economy.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was higher by 54.0 points, or 0.90 per cent, to 6029.0 points at 0800 AEST on Thursday.

In the US overnight, trading momentum picked up after the Fed said it will keep interest rates at a record low as the economy struggles through the recession created by the coronavirus pandemic and pledged to continue buying Treasury and mortgage bonds.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.61 per cent higher to 26,539.57, the S&P 500 gained 1.24 per cent, to 3,258.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.35 per cent to 10,542.94.

Gold prices have surged to record levels this week, and rose after the Fed decision. Spot gold was trading at $US1970.40 at 0800 AEST.

In Australia today, building approvals data for June will show any continuing impact of the virus crisis on investment.

Financial services provider Macquarie Group will hold its annual general meeting.

Rio Tinto reported a better-than-expected first half profit late on Wednesday. The global miner saw a sharp V-shaped recovery in China as stimulus spurred industrial activity.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.90 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 71.73 US cents at Wednesday’s close.