Australian shares are set to open higher, after a strong day on Wall Street, boosted by Facebook and other major technology stocks.
Markets at 7:05am (AEST):
- ASX SPI 200 futures +0.8pc, ASX 200 (Thursday close) -0.2pc to 5,911.
- AUD: 75.52 US cents, 54.25 British pence, 62.38 Euro cents, 82.55 Japanese yen, $NZ1.07
- US: Dow Jones +1pc at 24,322, S&P 500 +1pc at 2,667, Nasdaq +1.6pc at 7,119
- Europe: FTSE +0.6pc at 7,421, DAX +0.6pc at 12,500, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.6pc at 3,507
- Commodities: Brent crude +1pc at $US74.75/barrel, spot gold -0.5pc at $US1,316.87/ounce
The tech-heavy Nasdaq index surged by 1.6 per cent, and the S&P 500 rose by more than 1 per cent.
The Dow Jones went up 239 points, or 1 per cent, to 24,322, with Visa being the best-performing stock in the index.
Facebook was one of the best-performing S&P stocks, jumping 9 per cent after it posted quarterly results that surpassed expectations.
For the meantime, investors are not focused on the social network’s recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, involving the misuse of 87 million user profiles.
The S&P tech sector finally managed to snap its six-day losing streak. It was also helped by gains in computer chipmakers like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which surged almost 14 per cent.
European markets also finished higher overnight with London, Frankfurt and Paris gaining 0.57, 0.63 and 0.74 per cent respectively.
The Australian dollar slipped to 75.5 US cents and 54.25 British pence. But it lifted slightly to 62.4 Euro cents.
In local economic news, the Bureau of Statistics will release its producer price index (PPI) for the March quarter.
It measures the change in the price of goods and services sold by producers, and is a gauge of inflation — which is currently below the Reserve Bank’s target of 2-3 per cent a year.
More to come.