6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,894.86 +254.41 (+1.03%)
S&P 500: 2,699.32 +36.38 (+1.37%)
AUD/USD: 0.7931 +0.0073 (+0.93%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March 2018 contracts): 5836.0 (+46)

1. US inflation beats: Annual core inflation for January came in at 1.8% (1.7% forecast), and some analysts are predicting even steeper increases in the coming months. The inflation data prompted another round of selling in bond markets with the yield on benchmark US 10-year bonds jumping seven basis points to 2.91% — the highest level since January 2014.

2. But unlike last week when jitters in the bond market sparked a global stock selloff, the S&P500 shrugged off the rise in yields to post its fourth straight day of gains. UK and European markets also rose, and the positive sentiment looks set to extend to Asian trade this morning. Chinese markets will be shut through February 21 for the Lunar New Year holiday.

3. US dollar gets hammered: The greenback initially strengthened in the wake of the inflation data, before getting poleaxed across the board with the USD index falling by 0.7% for the session. The Aussie dollar came along for the ride and is back over US79 cents ahead of key data this morning.

4. It’s jobs day: Employment data for January will be released at 11:30am AEDT. The median forecast is for another 15,000 jobs to be added after a record year of jobs growth in 2017. Markets will focus on the full-time/part-time split and the unemployment rate in today’s data for signs of upward pressure on wages. David Scutt’s 10-second guide has everything you need to know.

5. Cryptos had a good session, as Bitcoin rose back over $US9,000 amid broad-based gains across the sector after South Korean authorities said they were taking steps to make cryptocurrency trading more transparent — but won’t be banning it outright.

6. And the US dollar’s fall prompted strong demand across commodities. In base metals, gold jumped back above $US1,350 an ounce while copper posted a 2% gain for the second straight day. Oil prices also rose by more than 1% as US oil inventory data reported smaller than expected stockpiles. And China’s iron ore markets went into the Lunar New Year holiday with a bang, with spot prices for benchmark 62% fines now at their highest level since January 11.

Bonus item: Business Insider spoke with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, and he’s not too worried about the impact of higher inflation on the US economy. You can read the full interview here.

Have a great day.

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