Australian shares set for early boost

The Australian share market to set for an early rise after US markets climbed on hopes of a coronavirus vaccine and economic recovery.

The SPI 200 futures contract was higher by 109 points, or 1.99 per cent, to 5,593.0 at 0800 AEST on Tuesday, indicating a decent gain in early trade.

The S&P 500 climbed 3.2 per cent overnight as investors took note of US company Moderna’s encouraging results from early tests of an experimental vaccine for COVID-19.

Investors also took heart from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s comments at the weekend.

He expressed optimism the US economy could begin to recover from the pandemic in the second half of the year.

In Australia on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank will publish the minutes of its monetary policy meeting earlier this month.

Building materials manufacturer James Hardie has reported full-year net operating profit to March 31 is up 6.0 per cent to US$241.5 million.

Management has suspended any dividend payment.

The Australian dollar was buying 65.17 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 64.32 US cents at the close of trade on Monday.

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