Local stocks  are poised to open slightly higher, buoyed by more stimulus, this time from Europe's central bank.

What you need2know:

• SPI futures up 11 points to 5453

• AUD at 93.38 US cents, 95.65 Japanese yen, 68.36 Euro cents and 55.53 British pence.

• On Wall St, S&P 500 +0.7%, Dow +0.6%, Nasdaq +1.1%

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, FTSE -0.1%, CAC +1.1%, DAX +0.2%

• Spot gold up 0.8% to $US1253.43 an ounce

• Brent oil adds 0.5% to $US108.89 per barrel

• Iron ore drops 0.3% to $US94.50 per metric tonne

• LME three-month copper is at $US6780 per tonne

What’s on today

Australia: Ai Group PCI; 

New Zealand: house prices; 

China: trade balance; Japan: leading co incident index; 

Germany: industrial production, trade balance; UK: trade balance; 

US: non-farm payrolls, consumer credit; Canada: unemployment rate.

Stocks to watch

Right now, the market is in a unique kind of no-man’s land, at the mid-point between the interim reporting season in February and the upcoming full-year results delivered in August. It is a timely period to identify which stocks have positive momentum.

Australian investors cut their stock holdings in three of the big four banks to a six-month low in May as new capital rules diminish the likelihood of increased dividends.

Intelligent Investor has a “sell” recommendation on Woodside Petroleum despite noting that profits have never been higher and dividends, production and cash flow have hit records.

Currencies

The euro, which a month ago traded at a hair under $US1.40, on Thursday last stood at $US1.3633, up 0.25 per cent on the day and far from a four-month low of $US1.3504 touched earlier. The respite though could prove temporary.

The euro is down nearly 1 per cent so far in 2014 against the US dollar, which was off 0.2 per cent on Thursday against the Japanese yen. 

The yield on 10-year Irish government debt fell below the benchmark US 10-year notes on Thursday, the first time this has happened since 2007. At the height of the euro zone debt crisis three years ago, Ireland's 10-year yield was more than 14 per cent.

Commodities

The outlook for iron ore prices is bearish as weak market sentiment, low margins for steel producers, excess supply, and credit tightness in China continue to depress iron ore prices, reports RBC Capital Markets.

Saxo Bank's head of commodities research, Ole Hansen, said gold could probably rise another per cent or so towards $US1268 "before resistance is met".

Brent turned slightly higher and US crude oil pared losses in choppy trading. "You have this tug-of-war going on. Hedge funds are increasing their net longs in the Brent, and that's going to be supportive for WTI," said Richard Ilczyszyn, chief market strategist and founder of iitrader.com LLC in Chicago, referring to West Texas Intermediate.

United States

The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs after the European Central Bank cut rates to record lows and outlined further accommodative monetary policy.

Investors are next seen focusing on Friday’s US payrolls report for May. It is expected to show job growth likely slowed last month and the unemployment rate probably ticked up

Supporting the market, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to a firming labour market

Europe

The European Central Bank cut rates, effectively charging banks to deposit cash at the central bank, and outlined a four-year €400 billion scheme aimed at stimulating lending at a time when banks face tough scrutiny of their asset quality.

Euro zone shares rose on Thursday, led by banks in peripheral countries. The ECB moves lifted the German blue-chip DAX index to an all-time high of 10,013.69 before it ticked back down.

Deutsche Bank was a standout underperformer, falling 3.8 per cent after it warned it faced sizeable potential fines. These stem from a broad range of investigations which may make it hard for the bank to comply with capital requirements.

What happened yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.2 per cent on Thursday to 5436.9, while the broader All Ordinaries Index dipped 0.1 per cent to 5419.7, as falls in the biggest banks outweighed a pick-up in the biggest miners following a surprise rebound in the iron ore price. The ASX has declined in five out of the past six sessions.