Market may open slightly lower

The Australian sharemarket looks set to open lower despite gains on US and European markets at the end of the week.

At 3.43am, the March share price index futures contract was down nine points at 4926.

In economic news, the Australian Bureau of Statistics is due to release housing finance figures for December.

In equities news, JB Hi-Fi is expected to post first half results.

In Australia, the market on Friday finished near a 22-month high as investors reacted positively to economic data from China indicating a rebound in activity.

At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 35.6 points, or 0.72 per cent, higher at 4971.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 33.6 points, or 0.68 per cent, at 4989.4.

The West Australian

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