Australian shares are set to open lower, after tech giants pushed the Nasdaq higher.

ASX futures were down 1.1% or 85 points as of 8:00am on Thursday, suggesting a lower open.

In the US, a climb in technology behemoths pushed the Nasdaq Composite up for a second consecutive session.

That lifted the Nasdaq to a 0.5% advance The S&P 500 inched up 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than 0.1%.

In commodity markets, Brent crude oil was up 0.2% to US$85.16 a barrel, while gold was down 0.9% at US$2,298.23.

In local bond markets, the yield on Australian 2 Year government bonds was up at 4.19% while the 10 Year yield was also up at 4.31%. US Treasury notes were up, with the 2 Year yield at 4.75% and the 10 Year yield at 4.33%.

The Australian dollar was 66.47 US cents, up from its previous close of 66.45. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which tracks the US dollar against 16 other currencies, was up at 100.64.


Chinese shares ended higher, with gains led by semiconductor stocks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.8% to 2,972.53, the Shenzhen Composite Index was 2.0% higher and the ChiNext Price Index gained 1.8%. Investors are looking for new catalysts for the Chinese stock market, including the key July political meeting of the Communist Party. Among major stocks, SMIC was 2.0% higher and Naura Technology Group added 1.6%. Among decliners, Midea Group was 1.6% lower and Poly Developments & Holdings fell 1.5%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged 0.1% higher to close at 18,089.93, led by tech- and consumer-related stocks. NetEase closed 6.2% higher after the company said its widely anticipated "Naraka: Bladepoint Mobile" game will be launched on July 25. Other advancers were China Mengniu Dairy, which was up 5.0%, and Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC which was 4.5% higher. Meanwhile, Shenzhou International Group dropped 2.5% and China Hongqiao Group shed 2.3%. Investors will likely look to Chinese industrial profit data due Thursday for clues on the economic recovery ahead of high-level policy meetings in July.

Japanese shares ended higher, led by chip and other electronics stocks, as a weak yen boosted expectations for earnings growth. Signs of U.S. economic weakness also raised hopes for potential Fed rate cuts. Advantest climbed 7.0% after it laid out a plan to boost earnings in the coming years. Tokyo Electron gained 3.6% and Keyence added 2.4%. The Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.3% to 39,667.07. Investors are focusing on economic data and any comments by Japanese officials on the yen's recent depreciation. The 10-year Japanese government bond yield rose 2.5 basis points to 1.020%.

Indian shares ended higher, tracking gains across most regional markets, after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq snapped three-session losing streaks overnight. Bank stocks led the gains on the local bourse, with ICICI Bank adding 1.6% and Axis Bank ending 1.3% higher. Oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries was the best performer on the benchmark index, rising 4.1% to close at a record high of INR3,027.40. Steel stocks weighed on the index. Tata Steel dropped 1.8% and JSW Steel was 1.1% lower. The benchmark Sensex Index ended 0.8% higher at 78,674.25.


Stocks in the U.K. slipped Wednesday, as the FTSE 100 Index declined 0.3% to 8,225.33.

Among large companies, PageGroup PLC posted the largest decline, dropping 5.1%, followed by shares of Alpha Group International PLC, which fell 3.8%. Shares of Hays PLC fell 3.6%.

Future PLC was the biggest gainer during the session, surging 8.3%, and Carnival PLC surged 4.9%. Fevertree Drinks PLC rounded out the top three movers on Wednesday, as shares gained 2.9%.

In Europe, shares closed lower, with the STOXX Europe 600 Index slipping 0.6% to 514.81, Germany's DAX lost 0.1% to 18,155.24 and France's CAC 40 dropped 0.7% to 7,609.15.

North America

A climb in technology behemoths pushed the Nasdaq Composite up for a second consecutive session. shares rose 3.9% to a record, making it the fifth U.S. company to cross a $2 trillion valuation. Apple added 2%, while Meta gained 0.5%.

That lifted the Nasdaq to a 0.5% advance The S&P 500 inched up 0.2%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than 0.1%.

Stocks wavered for much of the day, recording muted moves and continuing a stretch of calm that has persisted for much of the year. The S&P 500 hasn't recorded a one-day decline of at least 2% in 338 days, the longest stretch since 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Some investors said they expected the good times to keep rolling.

"There aren't a lot of macro issues today that are signaling we should take some risk off," said Mark Stoeckle, an independent director at Nikko Asset Management Group.

Investors will be closely parsing data later this week on spending and the Fed's preferred inflation gauge for clues on the pace of price increases. Recent data has indicated that inflation is steadily falling, helping give stocks a boost.

Major indexes have diverged in recent sessions, with the Dow and Nasdaq often moving in different directions over the past week as investors have reshuffled their bets. That has led to some big stock-market rotations under the surface. This dynamic was on display in trading Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 wavering at times even as the Nasdaq pushed higher.

In corporate news, FedEx shares jumped more than 15% after the delivery company posted stronger-than-expected revenue. Rivian stock surged more than 20% after Volkswagen said it planned to invest up to $5 billion in the EV maker.