Australian shares are set to open moderately higher — after the Dow Jones index plunged 471 points, but managed a stunning comeback by the closing bell.
Market snapshot at 7:55am (AEST):ASX SPI futures +0.4pc at 6,275 ASX 200 (Monday’s close) -0.8pc at 6,283AUD: 69.84 US cents, 53.33 British pence, 62.37 euro cents, 77.3 Japanese yen, $NZ1.06US: Dow Jones -0.3pc at 26,438, S&P 500 -0.5pc at 2,932, Nasdaq -0.5pc at 8,123Europe: FTSE 100 +0.4pc at 7,381, DAX -1pc 12,287, CAC -1.2pc at 5,484, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1pc at 3,463Commodities: Brent crude +0.1pc at $US70.90/barrel, spot gold +0.1pc at $US1,280.08/ounce
At 7:05am (AEST), ASX futures rose 39 points, or 0.6 per cent, which suggests a higher open for the local market.
The Australian dollar was weaker at 69.82 US cents.
In economic news, the Bureau of Statistics will release its retail sales and trade balance figures for March at 11:30am (AEST).
Reserve Bank may cut interest rates
The Reserve Bank will decide on interest rates at 2:30pm (AEST), and there is a roughly-even chance of a rate cut, which would be the first time they have changed in nearly three years.
Since the last move in August 2016, the official cash rate has remained steady at a record low 1.5 per cent.
However, the Australian economy has been underperforming, with annual GDP growth slowing to 2.3 per cent and core inflation persistently stuck below the Reserve Bank’s target range of 2-3 per cent for the last three years.
If the RBA decides to stimulate the economy by cutting rates, it would bring Australian rates to a new low of 1.25 per cent.
Experts are divided on what Australia’s central bank