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Australian share market set for flat open

Australian stocks appear set for a flat morning after mixed movements on Wall Street overnight.

The SPI 200 futures contract was up by 12 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 5,218.0 at 0800 AEST on Friday.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said he expected a “soft” opening for the ASX/200, with the index likely to lose five points at the start of trade.

US markets enjoyed a rally until news that an experimental coronavirus drug flopped in its first randomised clinical trial.

The Chinese trial showed Gilead Science’s remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream.

The S&P 500 finished at 2,797.80, down 1.51 points.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.44 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 23,515.26 after losing almost all of a 409-point gain. The Nasdaq composite slipped 0.63 points to 8,494.75.

The early gains were likely based on data showing the number of US workers filing for unemployment in the past week was 4.4 million, a lower figure than the 5.2 million the previous week.

Traders’ fortunes followed a similar day in Australia on Thursday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained early but closed down 4.1 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 5,17.1 points.

The All Ordinaries closed down one point, or 0.02 per cent, at 5,272.8 points.

The Australian dollar was buying 63.72 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 63.43 US cents at Thursday’s close.

The Aussie gold price was US$1,729.54 at 0810 AEST.

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