ASX set to open lower on US-China tension

Sharemarket investors can expect the ASX to open lower after fears on Wall Street about rising US-China tensions.

The SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 20 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 5,836.0 at 0800 AEST on Friday, indicating losses in early trade.

In the US overnight, the S&P 500 had been climbing for much of the day and was up as much as 1.1 per cent at one point but it disappeared after President Donald Trump said he would hold a news conference about China.

That raised immediate worries among investors about possibly worsening relations between the world’s largest economies, which had signed a deal earlier this year to at least pause their trade war.

The S&P 500 ended the day down 6.40, or 0.2 per cent, at 3,029.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung from a gain of 210 points to a loss of 147.63 by the close of trading, down 0.6 per cent to 25,400.64. The Nasdaq composite fell 43.37, or 0.5 per cent, to 9,368.99.

In Australia on Thursday morning, Westpac has announced the chief executive of its institutional bank, Lyn Cobley, will retire.

Recruiting will begin for her replacement.

Private sector credit data for April will be published and ANZ Bank economists expect a 0.5 per cent rise on last month.

Trading will resume on the ASX after a buying spree on bank stocks on Thursday.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index moderated its gains after being up as much as 2.5 per cent and finished ahead by 76.1 points, or 1.32 per cent, at 5,851.1 points, while the All Ordinaries index rose by 72.9 points, or 1.24 per cent, to 5,957.8.

One Australian dollar was buying 66.20 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 66.13 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.

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