6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 25,219.38 +19.01 (+0.08%)
S&P 500: 2,732.22 +1.02 (+0.04%)
AUD/USD: 0.7905 -0.0039 (-0.49%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March 2018 contracts): 5,850 (-7)

1. The S&P500 edged higher on Friday to close up 4.3% for the week — bouncing back from a 5.2% fall — although news of indictments in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation weighed on markets into the close. Following a quiet session in US markets, ASX200 futures traders are cautious to start the week after the local index lost ground on Friday.

2. The price action in bonds also steadied to end the week, with benchmark US 10-year yields edging lower to 2.87%. With US 10-year yields up by around 45 basis points in 2018, markets will be watching the results of this week’s Treasury auctions with around $US200 billion worth of government debt set to be issued.

3. In currencies, the US dollar index climbed off a three-year low with gains against most major currencies. The strength in the greenback saw the AUD finish the week lower at 0.7905 US cents.

4. The week ahead: It’s all about wages this week in Australia, with Wednesday’s Wage Price Index for the December quarter (ABS, 11:30am AEDT) taking on increased significance amid an extended period of low wage growth. ASX200 company reporting season is also in full swing, while it’ll be a quieter start to the week abroad with Monday holidays in both China and the US. The full weekly calendar is here.

5. Cryptos continued last week’s rally into weekend trade, and bitcoin peaked at over $US11,000 overnight before a sharp fall. Elsewhere, the founder of ethereum has warned that crypto prices could fall to $0, while a former JP Morgan trader — turned bitcoin enthusiast — says the crypto financial revolution is coming.

6. Crude oil prices climbed again on Friday to close the week 3% higher, despite data which showed US oil rigs rose by seven to a three-year high of 798. In base metals, gold and copper both edger lower from the recent highs. Iron ore markets are quiet while China celebrates the Lunar New Year festival.

Have a great day.

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