Aust shares to open sharply higher

The Australian share market looks set to open sharply higher after Wall Street's main indexes take little notice of stronger-than-expected inflation data and rise more than one per cent.

Australian share look set to open sharply higher after one per cent-plus gains on Wall Street.

Australian share look set to open sharply higher after one per cent-plus gains on Wall Street.

At 0700 AEDT on Thursday, the share price futures index was up 46 points, or 0.79 per cent per cent, at 5,836.

US equities have surged with investors shrugging off data showing the core Consumer Price Index - which excludes volatile food and energy items - had risen 0.3 per cent in January, against expectations of a 0.2 per cent lift and retail sales had fallen 0.3 per cent against a forecast 0.2 per cent lift.

However, year-on-year inflation remained at 1.8 per cent

In late afternoon trading (0719 AEDT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.09 per cent , the S&P 500 had gained 1.31 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite had added 1.93 per cent.

Locally, in economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release January labour force data.

In equities news, Telstra, Suncorp, ASX, McGrath, South32, Evolution Mining, Newcreast Mining, Origin Energy, Sonic Healthcare, Healthscope and HT&E, formerly known as APN News and Media, are among the companies expected to report results.

Meanwhile, Graincorp has its annual general meeting scheduled for Thursday in Sydney.

The Australian market on Wednesday weakened as caution ahead of the release of key US inflation data outweighed better-than-expected earnings reports from several companies.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 14.7 points, or 0 25 per cent, to 5,841.2 points while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 17 points, 0.29 per cent, to 5,940 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has jumped above 79 US cents against a languishing US counterpart.

The local currency was trading at 79.11 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Thursday, from 78.77 on Wednesday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 79.11 US cents, from 78.77 on Wednesday

* 84.73 Japanese yen, from 84.42 yen

* 63.61 euro cents, from 63.64 euro cents

* 56.57 British pence, from 56.66 pence

* 107.52 NZ cents, from 107.74 cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEDT was $US1,353.308 per fine ounce, from $US1,334.89 per fine ounce on Wednesday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEDT:

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.9836pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.7996pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* March 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.075 (implying a yield of 2.925pct), from 97.155 (implying a yield of 2.845pct) on Wednesday

* March 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.825 (2.175pct), from 97.87 (2.13pct).

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

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