Good morning and happy Friday.
To the scoreboard:
Dow: 23,455.08 +183.80 (+0.79%)
S&P 500: 2,586.18 +21.56 (+0.84%)
AUD/USD: 0.7590 +0.0001 (+0.01%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,992 (+41)
1. Dip-buyers return: European markets bounced to end a seven-day losing streak, and US stocks closed just shy of their recent record highs as the Republican tax-cut bill passed through the lower house and earnings results impressed — led by Walmart which boosted online sales. It bodes well for a strong open on the ASX200 to end the week.
2. Greenback catches a bid: The US dollar found some momentum in the wake of the republican tax-cut bill, gaining back ground against the euro and yen while the AUD remains stuck just below US76 cents — the level it fell to after Wednesday’s soft wages growth report — with no key data scheduled on the domestic calendar today.
3. Bond market moves: After a steady US inflation print on Wednesday the US Fed remains on track to raise rates again in December, and shorter term 2-year US bond yields rose to a nine-year high overnight of 1.71%. Australian 2-year bond yields dipped slightly, while benchmark US 10-year treasury yields also climbed to finish at 2.37%.
4. Bitcoin reverses weekend falls: Prices are now back around all-time highs towards $US8,000 on the Bitfinex exchange — although the average investor plans to hold their investment until the price reaches $US190,000. Meanwhile, the CME exchange will introduce measures to curb volatility once bitcoin futures are up and running.
5. A 2nd Brexit vote?: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein seems to think so. He suggested on Twitter that double-checking consensus may be worthwhile before such a “monumental and irreversible” decision.
6. Oil decline continues: Prices for benchmark crude continued to fall overnight from the two-year high reached on November 6, as markets assess the price-negative impact of increased US production weighed against the prospect of further OPEC supply cuts. Tonight’s Baker Hughes oil rig count will give another update on the near-term US supply picture.
Have a great weekend.
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