Wall St optimism trumps fears of trade war

Australian shares are set to rise in early trade after a rebound in foreign markets, as optimism about earnings season trumped fears of a US-China trade war.

Markets at 7:00am (AEST):ASX SPI 200 futures +0.4pc to 6,240, ASX 200 (Thursday’s close) +0.9pc at 6,268AUD: 74.07 US cents, 56.07 British pence, 63.45 Euro cents, 83.34 Japanese yen, $NZ1.09US: Dow Jones +0.9pc at 24,925, S&P 500 +0.9pc at 2,798, Nasdaq +1.4pc at 7,824Europe: FTSE +0.8pc at 7,651, DAX +0.6pc at 12,493, CAC +1pc to 5,406, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.7pc at 3,446Commodities: Brent crude +1.4pc at $US74.40/barrel, spot gold +0.4pc at $US1,246.77/ounce, iron ore +1.1pc at $US64.06/tonne

Wall Street’s Nasdaq index hit a fresh record, gaining 1.4 per cent to 7,823, following a rally in big-name technology stocks.

This was driven largely by Facebook (+2.2pc) and Amazon (+2.4pc), which also hit record highs — as well as Microsoft (+2.2pc) and Google (+2.5pc).

The Dow Jones index rose by a hefty 224 points, or 0.9 cent, to 24,925, and the S&P 500 also lifted nearly 0.9 per cent.

Earnings will take centre stage on Friday afternoon (local time), when some big Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan Chase, report their results.

S&P 500 companies overall are expected to post second-quarter profit growth of around 21 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

In a sign that labour market conditions remained robust in early July, weekly jobless claims hit a two-month low last week, the Labor Department said.

The consumer price index barely rose in June, but the underlying trend continued to point to a steady build-up of inflation pressure that could keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.

The Australian dollar also bounced back from yesterday’s sharp sell-off, lifting 0.5 per cent to 74.07 US cents.

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