The ASX is set to open slightly lower this morning with SPI Futures down 4 points at 5,905.
Buying in the big banks helped the ASX overcome early wobbles to post modest gains, as investors wade through a number of company updates.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 overcame some early wobbles to edge higher over the course of the trading session, finishing up 9 points, or 0.2%, to 5,924.
U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday ahead of major tech company earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 struggled to hold opening gains, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite closed at a record high.
Comcast, PayPal and Amazon.com were among the greatest contributors to gains in the Nasdaq.
U.S. crude oil futures for June delivery hit their lowest since March 29 and settled at $US48.97 a barrel, tumbling 1.3%. While the summer driving season has historically helped drive oil prices higher, domestic inventory levels “remain elevated by historical standards,” Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA, said in a Thursday note to clients.
Iron ore has steadied at the end of this week in the mid-$US60 range.
Gold prices were ending the U.S. day session firmer on a corrective rebound from this week’s selling pressure that pushed prices to a two-week low on Wednesday. Some short covering by the shorter-term futures traders was featured, as well as some perceived bargain-basement buying in both futures and the cash market. The generally upbeat trader and investor attitudes this week have been a significantly bearish element for the safe-haven metal. June Comex gold was last up $US2.10 an ounce at $US1,266.30.
The Australian dollar was this morning buying 74.66 US cents.
In domestic data, private sector credit and the Purchaser’s Price Inflation (PPI) index.
From the Kaz Team.