The Australian stock market pushed higher at the open following strong gains on Wall Street ahead of a much-watched United States labour market report and amid mixed trade and labour data.
At the 1015 AEDT official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 0.44% to 5,153.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index increased 0.43% to 5,169.5.
The improvement in claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, came a day ahead of the Labor Department's January job growth and unemployment data.
In local economic news on Friday, the Reserve Bank of Australia issues its Statement on Monetary Policy.
In Australia, the market on Thursday bounced back after three straight days of losses, rising by more than one per cent as international investors were encouraged by a rising Australian dollar.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 61.1 points, or 1.21%, at 5,131.4.
The broader All Ordinaries index was up 58.7 points, or 1.15%, at 5,147.4.