A flat start is likely for the Australian share market after Wall Street closed slightly lower due to tensions between the US and China.

The SPI 200 futures contract was lower by 7 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 5,537.0 at 0700 AEST on Friday, indicating little direction in early trade.

US President Donald Trump said the United States would react strongly if China imposes national security laws for Hong Kong in response to last year’s often violent pro-democracy protests.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised Beijing authorities’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak, while a Chinese official said the country will not flinch from any escalation in tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.41 per cent to end at 24,474.12 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.78 per cent to 2,948.51. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.97 per cent, to 9,284.88.

In Australian market activity today, Sydney Airport will hold its annual general meeting.

Airport revenue has been decimated by flight restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The Australian share market on Thursday ended a four-day streak of closing higher.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished down 22.6 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 5,550.4 points, while the All Ordinaries index closed down 19.2 points, or 0.34 per cent, at 5,660.9.

The Australian dollar was buying 65.65 US cents at 0700 AEST, down from 65.71 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.

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