Australian shares poised to open higher

Simone Ziaziaris
The Australian share market has closed in the red thanks to Westpac trading ex-dividend

The Australian share market is due to open higher after US stocks notched solid gains recouping some of the market's losses from a day earlier.

At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the Australian share price futures index was up 11 points, 0.2 per cent, at 6,110 points.

In the US, technology and health care companies drove much of the rebound overnight, outweighing losses in safe-play stocks like utilities and real estate investment trusts.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.4 per cent to 2,722.46, the Dow Jones industrial average gained or 0.3 per cent to 24,768.93 and the Nasdaq composite added 0.6 per cent, to 7,398.30.

The Australian share market on Wednesday closed higher as energy companies were boosted by higher oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 9.2 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 6,107 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 9.4 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 6,208.1 points.

In economics news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data for April is due to be released.

The market is forecasting the unemployment rate to remain at 5.5 per cent and expects 20,000 jobs to be added in the month.

In equities news, Optus and DuluxGroup will release their full year and half year results, respectively, while Adelaide Brighton is due to host its annual general meeting.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has bounced back overnight and is higher against the US dollar which has preserved its recent gains but made little headway.

At 0700 AEST on Thursday, the local currency was worth 75.15 US cents, from 74.84 cents on Wednesday.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.15 US cents, from 74.84 US cents on Wednesday

* 82.9395 Japanese yen, from 82.47 yen

* 63.64 euro cents, from 63.21 euro cents

* 55.73 British pence, from 55.40 pence

* 108.99 NZ cents, from 108.75 NZ cents

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session)

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,290.47 per fine ounce, unchanged from Wednesday

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 0700 AEST:

* CGS 5.75 per cent May 2021, 2.2191pct, unchanged from Wednesday

* CGS 2.25pct May 2028, 2.8836pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2018 10-year bond futures contract was 97.085 (implying a yield of 2.915pct), from 97.105 (2.895pct) on Wednesday

* June 2018 3-year bond futures contract was 97.725 (2.275pct), from 97.735 (2.265pct)

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