The Australian market looks set to open flat. At 0855 AEST on Thursday, the March share price index futures contract was UP three points at 4,432.
In economic news on Thursday, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) is expected to release its trades report for the March 2011 quarter while the Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index (PSI) for April is also expected to be released.
In equities news, Westpac Banking Corporation first half results are due for release, while Santos and Hutchison Telecommunications are due to hold their annual general meetings.
In Australia, the market on Wednesday closed marginally stronger at a nine-month high after gains by miners were offset by falls among the big four banks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 6.4 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 4,435.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index edged up 7.5 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 4,504.8 points.
NEW YORK - US stocks clawed back early sharp losses on disappointing data on private-sector job growth Wednesday, with the Nasdaq index ending in the black while the Dow closed with a minimal loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 top blue chips ended down 10.75 points, or 0.08 per cent, at 13,268.57.
The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 3.51 (0.25 per cent) to 1,402.31 while the tech-rich Nasdaq picked up a gain of 9.41 (0.31 per cent) to 3,059.85.
Poor economic reports from Europe and a weak report on private jobs growth in the United States from payrolls firm ADP drove sellers from the opening bell.
Bond prices climbed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.92 per cent from 1.96 per cent Tuesday, while the 30-year dropped to 3.11 per cent from 3.16 per cent.
LONDON - European stock markets gave up early gains to close mixed as a slowing economy pushed euro zone unemployment to a record high and US jobs data added to the gloomy outlook.
London's FTSE 100 index fell 0.93 per cent to close at 5,758.11 points, a day after climbing higher on robust US manufacturing data.
In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.42 per cent to 3,226.33 points but in Frankfurt the DAX 30 shed 0.75 per cent to 6710.77 points.
Madrid's IBEX 35 index plunged 2.55 per cent to 6831.9 points, its lowest level in three years as investors punished the overextended banking sector.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro fell to $1.3154 from $1.3234 in New York late on Tuesday.
HONG KONG - Asian stock markets climbed after strong US and Chinese manufacturing data boosted optimism over the state of the world's two biggest economies.
The US dollar rebounded after hitting a two-month low against the yen while the Dow rallied to its best close for more than four years.
Tokyo rose 0.31 per cent, or 29.30 points, to 9,380.25 and Seoul climbed 0.86 per cent, adding 17.08 points to 1,999.07.
Hong Kong was 1.02 per cent higher, gaining 214.87 points to 21,309.08 while Shanghai climbed 1.76 per cent, or 42.12 points, 2,438.44.
WELLINGTON - The NZX 50 Index rose 37.653 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 3614.97, the highest close since May 2008.