Australian shares are set to edge higher at the open after a jump in oil prices and strong overnight trading on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones closed at a record for a second day.
The Aussie dollar, meanwhile, slid by more than a per cent from Wednesday’s close of 71.81 US cents, but showed signs of recovery at 0800 AEST on Thursday to buy 71.09 US cents.
The SPI200 futures contract is up 9 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 6,152.0, pointing to a slight rise for the ASX – which closed higher on Wednesday thanks to gains for material and energy stocks.
The energy sector is again tipped for a strong performance on Thursday after Brent crude rose nearly two per cent to hit a new four-year high.
Local gold miners eked out solid gains on Wednesday, but precious metal prices softened after the Italian government indicated it was open to trimming its budget deficit and debt, easing investors’ fears over stocks and other higher-risk assets.
On Wall Street overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose another 54.45 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 26,828.39, while the S&P 500 gained 2.08 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 2,925.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.54 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 8,025.09.
In local company news on Thursday, the Bank of Queensland is expected to detail its full-year results, while David Jones will unveil its new luxury shoe floor at its Sydney flagship store.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will also release international goods and services trade data fro August.