Local shares set to open slightly higher as the ASX chases seven straight days of gains. What you need2know SPI futures up 5pts or 0.1% to 5388 at about 6am Sydney time AUD +0.4% to 76.34 US cents, 80.43 japanese yen, 68.67 Euro cents and 57.27 British pence On Wall St, Dow +0.7%, S&amp;P 500 +0.5%, Nasdaq +0.6% In Europe, Stoxx 50 +1.3%, FTSE -0.2%, CAC +1.2%, DAX +1.4% Spot gold -0.8% to $US1332.27 an ounce Brent crude +2.1% to $US47.21 a barrel Iron ore -1.2% to $US58.47 per tonne What's on today China GDP Currencies The yen weakened 0.8 per cent to 105.31 per US dollar, after earlier strengthening as much as 0.5 per cent. Former Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke met Japanese leaders in Tokyo this week after earlier in the year floating the idea of helicopter money, which involves the central bank directly funding government spending, with one of Abe's key advisers. Commodities BHP Billiton said the Samarco iron ore operation in Brazil expects to cut its workforce by 40 per cent through voluntary redundancies as it remains shut this year, after halting production in November due to a deadly dam collapse. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 1.9 per cent to $US45.59 a barrel, after tumbling 4.4 per cent on Wednesday as US data showed crude stockpiles fell an eighth week, the longest declining streak since June 2015. United States The S&amp;P 500 added 0.5 per cent at 4pm in New York, extending a record for a fourth day and capping the longest stretch of gains since March. The gains today pushed the benchmark to 20 times reported earnings, the first the valuation has crossed that threshold since 2009. Europe The Bank of England left its key interest rate at a record low and signaled it's readying stimulus for August as the economy reels from Britain's decision to quit the European Union. The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mark Carney, voted 8-1 to keep the benchmark at 0.5 per cent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.8 per cent, paring its losses since Britain's referendum on June 23. The UK's benchmark FTSE 100 Index erased gains after the BOE's decision to slip 0.2 per cent. A gauge of European lenders rallied for the fifth time in six days. UniCredit, the Italian lender that's selling assets to boost capital, jumped after Citigroup advised investors to buy the stock. What happened yesterday Investor appetite for bank stocks offset weakness in resources and energy on Thursday to help the Australian sharemarket across the line for a sixth consecutive session of gains. The S&amp;P/ASX 200 index added 23 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5411.6. It was the first close above 5400 in six weeks. The broader All Ordinaries measure climbed 21 points to 5491.8.