To the scoreboard:
Dow: 26,196.90 +125.18 (+0.48%)
S&P 500: 2,831.18 +20.88 (+0.74%)
AUD/USD: 0.8015 +0.0017 (+0.21%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,966 (+28)
1. It was more of the same in US stocks overnight, as the S&P500 climbed to another record with a boost from news that the US Senate cleared a procedural hurdle to move forward a funding bill to reopen the government. European stocks climbed as well, and ASX futures traders have once again marked up the local index after another lacklustre performance yesterday.
2. Wash, rinse, repeat: The recent theme of weakness in the US dollar also stayed in play last night, which saw the AUD push as high as 0.8027 US cents before a small USD rally in the wake of the Senate deal. The UK pound was the best performer, rising by almost 1% as traders assess the increasing likelihood of a soft Brexit.
3. And the Japanese yen is the only major currency to have lost ground against the greenback ahead of the main event in a relatively quiet day for global markets — the Bank of Japan’s interest rate announcement, scheduled for 2pm Australian time. The BoJ is expected to maintain its ultra-easy rate settings and today’s announcement will also include the bank’s quarterly economic outlook.
4. Markets wrap: In bond markets, benchmark US 10-year bond yields are holding at a multi-year high of 2.66%, while the yield on US 2-year debt now exceeds the dividend yield on stocks for the first time since 2008. And amid the latest decline in the US dollar, commodity prices found support overnight as crude oil rose by 0.3% while base metals — gold and copper — also edged higher.
5. International Monetary Fund upgrades growth forecasts: The IMF now expects global growth to rise by 3.9% over 2018 and 2019, citing further evidence of the synchronised global economic upswing which began in mid-2016. It also attributed some of the upward revision to the positive effect of the US tax cuts, but cautioned on the outlook for market sentiment if global asset valuations were to fall from their current highs.
6. Bitcoin falls again: Bitcoin is sliding back towards $US10,000 this morning and the other major alt-coins have followed suit. The latest note from Goldman Sachs argues prices for Bitcoin and other cryptos are still well and truly in bubble territory, according to a report in MarketWatch.
Have a great day.
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