Gains are likely to start the trading day on the share market after US regulators eased restrictions on banks’ complex trading and investment portfolios, helping investor enthusiasm.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was up 70.0 points, or 1.21 per cent, to 5,835.0 at 0700 AEST on Friday.

In the US, Wall Street’s main indexes closed higher after bank stocks soared ahead of annual stress test results, which offset investor jitters over alarming increases in new coronavirus cases.

The Federal Reserve was due to release results of annual bank stress tests after the markets close, potentially indicating how much flexibility banks will have to return capital to shareholders.

The virus’ impact was still evident on the market however. Stocks wobbled late in the session after Apple said it would close 14 stores in Florida again due to rising COVID-19 cases after re-closures in Houston, Arizona, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

The Australian share market on Thursday suffered its worst loss in two weeks after a rise in coronavirus cases in the US and Victoria.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished down 148 points, or 2.48 per cent, to 5,817.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index closed down 153.6 points, or 2.53 per cent, at 5,928.

The Australian dollar was buying 68.87 US cents at 0700 AEST, higher from 68.65 US cents at the close of trade on Thursday.

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