Australian shares are set to open slightly higher on Thursday, tracking modest Wall Street gains after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell allayed initial market concerns about limits to future interest rate cuts.

The Fed on Wednesday signaled a higher bar to further rate cuts after easing its benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point. Powell, in a press conference later, promised future cuts “if the economy does turn down".

The local share price index futures rose 0.1pc, a 14.4-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index

close.

The benchmark dipped 0.2pc on Wednesday.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.1pc in early trade