To the scoreboard:
Dow: 24,946.51 +72.85 (+0.29%)
S&P 500: 2,752.01 +4.68 (+0.17%)
AUD/USD: 0.7714 -0.0084 (-1.08%)
ASX200 SPI futures (June contracts): 5,974 (+27)
1. AUD gets hammered (again): It was the largest two-day percentage drop against the greenback since Brexit for the Aussie, as sellers took the wheel to extend Thursday night’s falls into a second day. The AUD is hanging in above US77 cents this morning after climbing above US79 cents on Wednesday, as the iron ore selloff resumed on Friday night.
2. US stocks edged higher in a choppy session on Friday night to end a four-day losing streak, but the S&P500 still finished down 1% for the week amid a more cautious tone on global markets. ASX futures traders are betting the local market will extend Friday’s gains, marking the local index up by 27 points this morning.
3. There was more good data out of the US to end the week, as industrial production rose by 1.1% in February and new job openings hit a record high of 6.3 million. And despite the Atlanta Fed’s downward revision to US Q1 GDP last week — citing a projected fall in consumer spending — the University of Michigan consumer confidence index hit a 14-year high on Friday.
4. And while there was steady demand for the Japanese yen on Friday night — USD/YEN dipped below 106 — the tone of caution is still moderate at this point, as opposed to a full-fledged flight to safety. Other safe-havens have seen less demand, with gold lower while US bond yields — although still off their recent highs — remain relatively elevated.
5. The week ahead: Domestically there’s the February jobs report on Thursday and RBA board minutes on Tuesday afternoon. Looking abroad, all eyes will be on the US Fed’s interest rate announcement on Wednesday night. This week’s full calendar is here.
6. Cryptos get smoked: Bitcoin slumped back below $US8,000 over the weekend and the broader market capitalisation ascribed to the crypto market has hit a yearly low of $US275 billion — down from an all-time high above $US800 billion. And if you’re interested in the debate between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, a Canadian rapper named after a cleaning product has weighed in with his thoughts.
Have a great day.
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