To the scoreboard:
Dow: 23,271.28 -138.19 (-0.59%)
S&P 500: 2,565.18 -13.69 (-0.53%)
AUD/USD: 0.7591 -0.0040 (-0.52%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,961 (+19)
1. It’s jobs day: This morning’s October employment figures from the ABS (11:30am AEST) will carry some extra weight after yet another disappointing result for wage growth yesterday. The median forecast is for the economy to add 17,500 jobs in October with the unemployment rate to hold steady at 5.5%. David Scutt’s 10-second guide has everything you need to know.
2. Euro makes a run: The euro rose back above $US1.18 for the first time since the ECB’s dovish tapering announcement in late October, amid a broad US dollar selloff before the greenback steadied as October inflation data met forecasts. Weakness in the USD saw the Aussie briefly climb back above US76 cents, before it fell back to around 0.7590 US cents ahead of this morning’s jobs data.
3. Stocks continue to wobble: Global stocks continued their retreat from recent record highs overnight, with analysts pointing to concerns around the commodity selloff stemming from a subdued Chinese growth outlook. Meanwhile technical indicators are flashing warnings signs for US stocks. ASX futures traders have ignored the bad news, marking the local index up after four straight days of falls amid news of an $11 billion takeover offer for Santos.
4. Bonds rally: In line with more of a risk-off theme this week, there was steady buying across major bond markets last night as Australian and US bond yields — which move inversely to their price — fell across the curve. Benchmark US 10-year yields had a steeper 5 basis-point fall, although the yield spread between Australian and US shorter-term debt remains at multi-year lows.
5. Bitcoin juggernaut: Once again, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has proved resilient in the face of volatility — it’s back above $US7,000 and is continuing to charge higher this morning. In the US, the chairman of a large brokerage firm has taken out a full page ad warning about the dangers surrounding the pending approval of bitcoin futures.
6. Iron ore leads commodities lower: It’s been a rough week for the materials and energy sectors on the ASX, as well as base metals — copper, zinc and nickel — which extended their losing streak overnight. Spot iron ore prices also fell again overnight but futures prices are relatively unchanged this morning, while oil is now 4.2% off its two-year high reached last week.
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