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Shares to rise early after Wall St gains

Australia’s share market is tipped to open higher after energy and materials stocks helped Wall Street close higher.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was higher by 28.0 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 5941.0 points at 0800 AEST on Wednesday.

Overnight, US markets ended higher as investors bought energy and materials stocks and looked beyond a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

The S&P 500 energy, materials, industrial, health and consumer staples indices all jumped.

However the S&P’s banks index dropped as three major lenders set aside US$28 billion to cover potential losses on loans to borrowers hurt by the pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 556.79 points, or 2.13 per cent, to 26,642.59, the S&P 500 gained 42.37 points, or 1.34 per cent, to 3,197.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 97.73 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 10,488.58.

In Australia today, investors will be watching for any news that a Covid-19 cluster has spread in Sydney. The outbreak, first detected at a pub in Sydney’s south-west, has been found to have infected 30 people and tracing continues.

Melbourne is in the early stages of a six-week lockdown following community transmission of the virus, which has blunted investors’ optimism.

The Australian dollar meanwhile was buying 69.77 US cents at 0800 AEST, higher from 69.54 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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