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The Australian share market is expected to open higher after US stocks rallied

The Australian share market looks set to open higher after gains from technology companies and the banks triggered a rally in US stocks.

At 0700 AEST on Friday, the share price futures index was up 13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6,185 points.

In the US, stocks recovered some of their recent losses, but trading remained uneven as investors tried to figure out if the tensions between the US and other nations will spill over into a trade war.

The S&P 500 index finished 0.6 per cent higher to 2,716.31 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 per cent to 24,216.05 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.8 per cent to 7,503.68.

Technology companies and the banks were responsible for the bulk of the gains overnight with a surge in Amazon shares shaking investors in two separate industries.

The online retailer rose 2.5 per cent to $US1,701.45 after announcing it will buy online pharmacy PillPack – a move which led to sharp losses for drugstores and companies that distribute prescription medications to pharmacies.

Amazon also announced a new program under which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver Amazon packages, meaning the online retailer will have new ways to deliver products without relying on companies like UPS and FedEx.

Locally, no major economic or equities news is expected on Friday.

The Australian share market on Thursday broke a four-day losing streak and ended the day higher, with energy and materials stocks leading the gains.

After a shaky start, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 closed up 0.31 per cent, at 6,215.4 points on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.24 per cent, at 6,305.8 points.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has bounced back and is higher against the greenback, after trading at its lowest level in around 18 months on Thursday.

At 0700 AEST on Friday, the local currency was worth 73.55 US cents, up from 73.33 US cents on Thursday.


One Australian dollar buys:

* 73.55 US cents, from 73.33 on Thursday

* 81.2315 Japanese yen, from 80.92 yen

* 63.55 euro cents, from 63.58 euro cents

* 56.21 British pence, from 56.09 pence

* 108.8 NZ cents, from 108.43 cents


The spot price of gold in Sydney at 0700 AEST was $US1,248.04 per fine ounce, from $US1,250.05 per fine ounce on Thursday


* CGS 4.50 per cent May 2021, 2.0594pct, unchanged

* CGS 4.75pct May 2028, 2.6172pct, unchanged

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* September 2018 10-year bond futures contract at 97.31 (implying a yield of 2.69pct), from 97.375 (implying a yield of 2.625pct) on Thursday

* September 2018 3-year bond futures contract at 97.845 (2.155pct), from 97.92 (2.08pct)

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session; currency closes taken from 1700 AEST previous local session)

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