ASX seen higher despite weak Wall St

The Australian share market looks on track for minor gains despite a weak lead from Wall Street after US investors pulled their money out of market-leading stocks and moved to cyclical value ones.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was up 20.0 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 5,325.0 points at 0800 AEST on Wednesday.

The major US indices fell overnight with investors shifting their money to smaller stocks that stand to benefit more from the easing of coronavirus pandemic restrictions as US states try to restart the economy.

Analysts said many traders took their money out of big technology stocks and moved it to smaller companies which would see greater gains from eased restrictions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.13 per cent, to 24,101.55, the S&P 500 lost 0.52 per cent, to 2,863.39 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.4 per cent, to 8,607.73.

The price of oil swung wildly as concerns remain about crashing demand and a lack of storage space.

Meanwhile, local Consumer Price Index data to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is expected to show a headline rise of 0.2 per cent for Q1 – slowing from 0.7 per cent growth in the December quarter.

However economists are tipping the stronger inflation print to be short-lived as coronavirus-related supply and demand shocks filter through, most notably a decline in holiday travel, fuel prices, house prices and rents.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished lower on Tuesday.

It fell 8.3 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 5,313.1 points.

The All Ordinaries closed down 7.1 points, or 0.13 per cent, at 5,381.2 points.

One Australian dollar buys 64.91 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 64.82 US cents at Tuesday’s close.

The price of gold is US$1,708.04 an ounce.

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