To the scoreboard:
Dow: 23,444.13 +21.92 (+0.09%)
S&P 500: 2,583.82 +1.52 (+0.06%)
AUD/USD: 0.7628 -0.0033 (-0.43%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 6,019 (-15)
1. Pressure on the Aussie: After failing to break through US77 cents overnight, the Aussie was promptly sold off as traders tested the downside. It found support at the low end of its recent range this morning, but is down against all the major pairs except the UK pound, as political turmoil in the May government continues to weigh on the sterling.
2. Business as usual in bonds: After a sharp rise to end last week, US 10-year bond yields held steady at 2.4%, while shorter term 2-year bond yields edged higher by 2 basis points overnight. That keeps the 2017 trend of a flatter yield curve intact, with the spread between 2-year and 10-year bond yields still trading around a 10-year low.
3. Bitcoin bounces back: Bitcoin reached a high of $US6,661 overnight and has steadied above $US6,300, but doubts remain about its transactional capability. Researchers at AllianceBernstein gave Bitcoin a test drive and said it’s not competitive with traditional cross-border payment systems.
4. Data today: The NAB business survey for October will be released at 11:30am AEST. It’s a widely-read indicator for the Australian economy and has been trending positive lately. China has industrial production and retail sales for October, then tonight there’s a central bankers conference in Frankfurt, Europe has a Q3 GDP reading and the UK has October inflation data.
5. Stocks lower: Futures traders are betting on a negative open for the ASX200, after the pan-European STOXX600 index fell for the fifth straight session overnight. It continues a disappointing earnings season, now down 3% for the month. US stocks are higher despite an 8% tumble for General Electric, which halved its dividend.
6. Commodities wrap: Energy stocks on global markets fell overnight as oil continues to edge lower from the two-year high it struck last week. Gold ticked higher but remains under pressure after a 0.8% fall on Friday, while for the big miners iron ore is steady in the low-$US60 a ton range and base metals — copper, zinc and nickel — all rose overnight.
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