6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 23,358.24 -100.12 (-0.43%)
S&P 500: 2,578.85 -6.79 (-0.26%)
AUD/USD: 0.7564 -0.0024 (-0.32%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,959 (-4)

1. Global stocks dip again: The S&P500 and pan-European STOXX600 index posted weekly falls of 0.6% and 1.3% respectively, weighed down by the selloff in oil and metals, and concern around high valuations. There were also more doubts about the smooth passage of the Republican tax-cut bill, although some analysts have now raised their expectations for the bill to be passed by the end of the year.

2. US dollar on the slide: The selloff was strongest against the Japanese yen, amid ongoing concerns around the tax plan and the federal investigation into the 2016 US election. As a result, the USD/YEN briefly fell back below 112 for the first time in a month. The Aussie didn’t benefit from weakness in the greenback though, getting sold off sharply after briefly pushing back above US76 cents on Friday night.

3. Bonds still stirring: Yields on shorter-term US 2-year bonds continued to climb on Friday as benchmark 10-year bonds edged lower, further narrowing the 2-10 yield spread which is already at a 10-year low.

4. The week ahead: It’s a quiet data calendar for both domestic and international markets. Key events domestically will be led by the RBA’s minutes from its November meeting, and a speech from RBA Governor Lowe on Tuesday night. The US Fed and ECB also release the minutes from their latest meetings. Full calendar is here.

5. Gold finds a bid: Gold surged by almost $US20 to close $US1,294 an ounce on Friday night — its highest level since October 17 — boosted by the familiar themes of weakness in the US dollar and some risk-off sentiment on global markets. Benchmark crude rose by 2.2% to $US62.72 a barrel, but still closed 1.3% lower for the week.

6. More action in bitcoin: The world’s biggest cryptocurrency traded in a relatively narrow range at around $US7,700 over the weekend, after briefly climbing past $US8,000 on Friday. At around 2:30am AEST today it rocketed higher again, and a short time ago was trading at a new all-time high on the Bitfinex exchange. Here’s the move, via Investing.com:

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