To the scoreboard:
Dow: 24,623.29 +118.49 (+0.48%)
S&P 500: 2,666.42 +2.31 (+0.09%)
AUD/USD: 0.7631 +0.0073 (+0.97%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 6,063 (+36)
1. The US Fed hiked rates by 25 basis points as expected, to a range of 1.25% — 1.50%. The Fed slightly upgraded its growth outlook, remains optimistic that inflation is transitory and said it still expects three rate hikes in 2018. Here’s the Fed’s latest dot plot.
2. US dollar dips: The market is perhaps less convinced about the Fed’s outlook, with the USD lower this morning while bond yields also fell as Republicans finalised the tax cut bill. That’s given the AUD a boost, as sentiment toward the greenback also dimmed in the wake of November’s core inflation data which showed monthly growth of 0.1% (0.2% forecast).
3. It’s jobs day: November employment data is scheduled for 11:30am AEDT from the ABS. Jobs growth is expected to accelerate in November, and today’s release also has quarterly underemployment and underutilisation data — both key to the outlook for wage growth. David Scutt’s 10-second guide has everything you need to know.
4. ASX poised to break higher: After a mixed night for global stocks, ASX200 futures markets are bullish this morning, with traders betting on the local index to make a meaningful break above the high of 6,060 reached on November 9. Amid broader US dollar weakness, futures markets for emerging markets in Asia are also pointing higher.
5. US Fed weighs in on Bitcoin: Prices briefly fell below $US16,000 overnight which triggered a freeze on futures on markets. Ripple was the big mover among other cryptos overnight, and has now doubled in value over the last two days. And US Fed chair Janet Yellen followed the lead of RBA Governor Philip Lowe yesterday, referring to Bitcoin as a “highly speculative asset” in comments earlier this morning.
6. “50 cent” is taking losses: A mysterious trader made headlines earlier this year for repeatedly purchasing US50 cent options contracts betting on a rise in market volatility. But there’s been a distinct lack of volatility, and “50 cent” is deep in the red — to the tune of $US197 million worth of contracts which have expired worthless.
Have a great day.
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