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ASX to edge higher to open trading week

Australian shares are expected to start the week with an increase after US technology and financial stocks pushed Wall Street higher on Friday.

The local SPI 200 futures contract was higher by 24 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 5,834.0 at 0800 AEST on Monday.

Bargain hunters returned to US markets on Friday after grim Federal Reserve projections for the economy caused plenty of selling midweek.

The central bank said it would use its full range of tools to support the US economy during this challenging period.

It last week kept the benchmark interest rate at a record low of zero to 0.25 per cent and signalled it planned to keep it there for some time.

The cautionary economic forecast and concerns over a possible resurgence of COVID-19 had tempered investors’ appetite.

In Australia, Boral on Monday morning announced a new chief executive from July.

Zlatko Todorcevski from Adelaide Brighton will take the top job while current Boral boss Mike Kane will retire in September.

Data on people arriving from overseas in April will be published on Monday and may give some indication of how the airline industry is tracking amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.25 US cents at 0800 AEST, down from 68.61 US cents on Friday.

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