Wall Street rally, currencies and oil

SINGAPORE – Stocks in Japan looked poised for a positive start on Friday after overnight gains on Wall Street as the S&P 500 jumped nearly 2%.

The Nikkei 225 index futures contract in Chicago was 28815 while its counterpart in Osaka was 28810. This compares with the last close of the Nikkei 225 index at 28,550.93.

Australian shares rose in morning trade with the S&P/ASX 200 index up 0.82%.

Shares in Hong Kong are set to return to trading on Friday after markets in the city were closed for two days.

Stock Picks and Investment Trends from CNBC Pro:

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 1.71% to 4,428.26 — its biggest jump since March — as investors cheered on better-than-expected earnings reports from majors like Bank of America.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 534.75 points to 34,912.56 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.73% to 14,823.43.

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The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.956 after weakening earlier this week from above 94.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.75 against the dollar, still weaker than the levels below 112.8 seen against the dollar earlier this week. The Australian dollar is trading at $0.7418, after rising from less than $0.74 yesterday.

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