ASX set to open lower after record month

Share prices are set to decline when trading begins on Friday after US stocks lost ground overnight following grim economic data and mixed earnings reports.

The Australian stock market recorded its best month in April since 1988.

But the SPI 200 futures contract was down 123 points, or 2.22 per cent, to 5,417.0 points at 0800 AEST on Friday.

US unemployment claims topped 30 million and consumer spending has plummeted, while Amazon and American Airlines’ earnings disappointed traders.

The S&P 500 fell 0.9 per cent, after its biggest monthly gain of 12.7 per cent since 1987.

In Australia, property price data for April is due to be published later on Friday.

The figures may show whether home values were impacted by the social distancing restrictions imposed to slow the coronavirus.

Auctions and open homes were no longer possible under the rules, which prevented people congregating indoors and outdoors, although agents have continued to arrange private inspections, and virtual tours via videoconferencing.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rallied Thursday for its best day in three weeks, closing up 129 points, or 2.39 per cent to close at 5,522.4 points and its best level since March 13.

The broader All Ordinaries index gained 133.9 points, or 2.45 per cent, at 5,597.7 points, finishing April up 9.5 per cent for its best month since a 13.2 per cent gain in March 1988.

One Australian dollar buys 65.04 US cents at 0800 AEST, down from 65.43 US cents at Thursday’s close.

The price of gold is US$1685.9, down from US$1716.01 at the close.


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