Rudolf Oultz watches the display board at the Australia Stock Exchange in Sydney, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Australian and New Zealand markets have opened lower in reaction to ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgrading of the United States government credit rating from AAA to AA+. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Rudolf Oultz watches the display board at the Australia Stock Exchange in Sydney, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. Australian and New Zealand markets have opened lower in reaction to ratings agency Standard and Poor's downgrading of the United States government credit rating from AAA to AA+. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The Australian sharemarket looks set to open higher despite falls on Wall Street and many European bourses overnight with investors still unnerved by US gross domestic figures.

Investors were surprised by the US Commerce Department figures showing the world's biggest economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent in the October-December quarter. Forecasts had been for a 1.0 per cent rise.

At 3.30am, the March share price index futures contract was up seven points at 4852.

In economic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia index of commodity prices for January is due out, as is the Australian Bureau of Statistics' producer prices indexes for the December quarter.

The Australian Industry Group's performance of manufacturing index and the RP Data-Rismark's home prices, both for January, are also expected.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans is slated to address an Economic Indicators Luncheon - 2013 Qld Property Market, hosted by the Financial Services Institute.

In Australia, the market on Thursday closed slightly weaker, snapping a 10-day winning streak, after markets in the United States fell.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 17.9 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 4878.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was off 18.1 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 4901.0 points.

The West Australian

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