Shares on the Australian market are set for gains after US stocks surged overnight after promising results for a COVID-19 treatment.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was up 108 points, or 2.01 per cent, at 5,468.0 points at 0700 AEST on Thursday.

Big tech companies provided the biggest lift to the US S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, and pushed all three major US stock averages closer to their all-time highs reached in February.

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences announced that its drug remdesivir is showing promise as an effective treatment for COVID-19, which has killed more than 226,000 people across the world.

The drug news boosted the broader market and sent Gilead shares up 5.7 per cent.

On the home front, ANZ and Bank of Queensland are expected to will publish first half results.

Woolworths is also scheduled to provide its third quarter supermarket sales update, which will be boosted by panic-buying from the coronavirus pandemic.

Coles on Wednesday said its third quarter supermarket sales jumped by 13 per cent, but its share price finished 4.4 per cent lower when the market closed.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished higher on Wednesday, closing up 80.3 points, or 1.51 per cent, at 5,393.4.

The All Ordinaries index finished 82.6 points higher, or 1.53 per cent, at 5,463.8.

One Aussie dollar was buying 65.56 US cents at 0700 AEST, up from 65.36 US cents at Wednesday’s close.

Source Article