Pre session: ASX seen opening higher; BHP, Coles, CSL shares in focus

Highlights

  • The ASX 200 is likely to open 60 points, or 0.8% higher on Friday.
  • On Thursday, the index closed 10.70 points or 0.15% lower at 7,225.20.
  • In overnight trade, all three major US stocks ended higher.

The Australian share market is expected to open higher on Friday, tracking overnight gains in Wall Street which surged on hopes the Omicron coronavirus variant will have a mild impact on the global economy and will not impact economic recovery. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 benchmark index is likely to rise 60 points, or 0.8%, at the open.

Among the individual stocks, shares of blue chip miner BHP Group, biotech firm CSL and supermarket giant Coles will be in focus today.

ASX200 up 0.35% as Wall St rebounds

 

The broader market had witnessed volatile trade this week with the index closing lower for the second straight session on Thursday, dropping 10.70 points or 0.15% to 7,225.20. During the day’s trade, the ASX 200 declined as much as 0.9%, setting a new 20-day low. Seven of the 11 sectors ended in red, while the tech sector declined the most.  The information technology sector was the biggest lower with a 3.2% loss, followed by health care and materials, which ended 0.8% lower. Bucking the trend, utilities sector was the best performer with a 1.5% gain, followed by industrial, consumer discretionary, and financials.

Wall Street rebounds as concern about Omicron eases

All three major US stocks ended higher on Thursday

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In the overnight trade on Thursday, the US stocks closed higher after two days of fall as investors cheered jobless claim data. A data by the US Labor Department showed number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week and lay-offs dropped to the lowest level in more than 28 years in November.

The market recovered some lost ground, which was rattled by the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 and fear of faster bond-buying taper by the US central bank. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained the most, driven by Boeing which rose after the aircraft maker claimed it had made progress in getting Chinese approval of its 737 MAX plane. 

The Dow Jones surged 617.75 points, or 1.82%, to 34,639.79, while the S&P 500 rose 64.06 points, or 1.42%, to 4,577.1. The NASDAQ Composite ended 127.27 points, or 0.83%, higher at 15,381.32.

Meanwhile, European shares mostly ended lower as countries ramped up COVID-19 restrictions to limit the spread of the highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus.

Bond yields

US Treasury yields inched up on Thursday

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US Treasury yields edged higher on Thursday as investors priced in that Federal Reserve officials would accelerate the pace of its massive bond purchases as signs of faster inflation appeared.

Benchmark 10-year yields notes up 1.2 basis points to 1.446%.

The dollar index, which gauges the performance of greenback, inched up 0.078% to 96.124. The euro dropped 0.18% at US$1.1299, while the yen traded higher by 0.34% at US$113.1300.

Oil prices rebound

Crude oil prices rose on Thursday

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Oil prices settled higher in choppy trade overnight as concerns over a looming supply glut eased. The market sentiment was also lifted after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC +) decided to stick to plans to boost output slowly.

Brent crude was up 80 cents at US$69.67 per barrel, while the US crude futures rose 93 cents to settle at US$66.50 a barrel.

Gold prices drop

Gold prices more than 1% dropped overnight

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Gold prices dropped overnight as demand for safe haven assets dropped following rebound in global equity market. The gold price slipped by more than 1% to hit one-month low as investors reacted to the Fed's plans to tighten monetary policy.

US gold futures fell 1.2% to US$1,762.70 an ounce.

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