Australian shares are set to open higher, after US stocks continued to rise on Friday.

ASX futures were up 0.5% or 41 points as of 8:00am on Monday, suggesting a higher open.

US stocks on Friday notched weekly gains, putting the market's April doldrums further in the rearview.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, or 125 points, the S&P 500 inched 0.2% higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged a hair lower.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil was down 1.3% to US$82.79 a barrel, while gold was up 0.6% at US$2,360.50.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds was down at 4.02% while the 10 Year yield was also down at 4.32%. US Treasury notes were up, with the 2 Year yield at 4.87% and the 10 Year yield at 4.50%.

The Australian dollar was 66.03 US cents. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies, was up at 99.83.


Chinese shares were broadly weaker heading into the weekend, with investors likely cautious while watching for key China inflation data this weekend. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended flat at3154.55, the Shenzhen Composite Index was 0.7% lower, while the ChiNext Price Index dropped 1.15%. Property stocks led the gains, following the news that some Chinese cities had eased home-buying curbs. Greenland Holdings added 2.7% and Poly Developments & Holdings rose 5.5%. Decliners included SMIC, which fell 1.7%, CATL, which dropped 2.8%, and Sangfor Technologies, which was 2.4% lower.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2.3% to close at 18963.68, extending earlier gains. Investors are eyeing China's April inflation data, due out this weekend. Among advancers on the benchmark index, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing rose 7.6%, China Construction Bank added 6.8% and Citic Ltd. was 5.9% higher. Meanwhile, among decliners, Xinyi Solar fell 1.5%, Sunny Optical shed 1.75% and Li Auto was 1.6% lower. The Hang Seng Tech Index rose 0.4% to 3962.32.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.4% to close at 38229.11. The main theme has been risk-on, Commerzbank Research analysts say in a research report. U.S. data released Thursday reinforced speculation that the Fed might be able to cut rates this year, the analysts say. Among the best performers on the benchmark index, ramen noodle maker Toyo Suisan Kaisha climbed 14%, video game developer Konami Group added 9.3%, and air-conditioning solutions provider Daikin Industries was up 8.1%. USD/JPY was at 155.59, compared with 155.62 as of Thursday's Tokyo stock market close. The 10-year JGB yield was up 0.5 bp at 0.910%.

India shares closed higher, led by gains in financial and steel stocks, as sentiment improved across Asia amid renewed hopes for Fed rate cuts. JSW Steel added 2.45% higher and Bajaj Finance climbed 1.2%. Axis Bank and ICICI Bank rose 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, Tata Consultancy Services fell 1.6% and Infosys shed 0.95%. The benchmark Sensex index rose 0.4% to 72664.47.


The FTSE 100 rose 0.6% to a new record high of 8,433.76 points, mainly supported by global commodity market factors including higher metals prices and the prospect of mergers and acquisitions, AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould said in a note. "Given its international horizons, [the rise] has little to do with the U.K.'s better-than-expected GDP growth and is largely being driven by strength in the resources space."

Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 rose 0.4%, and Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 0.8%.

North America

US stocks on Friday notched weekly gains, putting the market's April doldrums further in the rearview.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, or 125 points, enough to extend its longest winning streak of 2024 to an eighth consecutive-trading session. The S&P 500 inched 0.2% higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged a hair lower.

All three indexes have advanced by at least 3.7% so far this month.

The May performance marks a reversal from April, when stickier-than-expected inflation data upended Wall Street's expectations for interest-rate cuts, fueled a bond rout and weighed on the stock market.

Since then, data showing a slowdown in hiring and growth in unemployment claims have calmed some investors' nerves about how long inflation will remain higher than the Federal Reserve's 2% target. Growing confidence that the economy will gradually slow has helped fuel a bond rally this month, pushing down yields.

"We still think that interest rates matter and that they haven't filtered all the way through the economy," said Chris Diaz, a portfolio manager at the investment firm Brown Advisory.

Many Americans not on Wall Street are already concerned. Consumers' outlook on the economy darkened in May, according to preliminary results from a University of Michigan survey. Respondents' year-ahead inflation expectations rose to 3.5% from April's 3.2%, weighing down sentiment in the poll to its lowest level in six months.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields veered upward after the reading, settling at 4.503%. Yields rise as prices fall.

In the stock market, more defensive sectors including utilities, industrials and materials led this week's rally. Shares in energy firms also rose, even as oil prices held roughly steady. Benchmark U.S. crude traded Friday at $78.26 a barrel.

Most of the so-called Magnificent Seven stocks were down on Friday. Nvidia and semiconductor counterparts including Qualcomm and Broadcom rose in the session after the world's biggest contract chip manufacturer, Taiwan's TSMC, reported blockbuster sales.

In pharmaceuticals, the Food and Drug Administration won't meet its target date for a decision on Moderna's proposed RSV vaccine. Shares in the company fell 4.4%.

Novavax stock, meanwhile, surged 99% after the vaccine maker said it had struck a licensing deal with French healthcare company Sanofi to jointly commercialize its Covid-19 vaccine.