6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,962.48 -256.90 (-1.02%)
S&P 500: 2,715.12 -17.10 (-0.63%)
AUD/USD: 0.7880 -0.0033 (-0.42%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March 2018 contracts): 5,871 (-34)

1. It’s wages day: The quarterly wage price index has become one of the most important data releases on the calendar, given how often the RBA cites wages as part of its inflation outlook. Wage growth for the December quarter (ABS, 11:30am AEDT) is expected grow at just 0.5% q/q, leaving annual growth at just 2%. David Scutt’s 10-second guide is here.

2. The US dollar index continued its climb off last week’s three-year low, as the greenback gained ground against all the major currencies. That extra strength has sent the AUD back below US79 cents this morning ahead of the wage data release.

3. European stocks climbed but the S&P500 snapped a 6-day winning streak, in a cautious session of trade ahead of the release of the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s January 31 interest rate announcement later tonight. Falls were led by Walmart, which tumbled by more than 10% after a bad earnings miss.

4. US bond yields edged higher across the curve overnight, with benchmark US 10-year yields trading at just below 2.9% as markets position for a wave of US government debt issuance this week. A $US28 billion auction of shorter-term 2-year bonds received solid demand overnight, ahead of a sale of 5-year notes later this week.

5. Oil held steady around $US65 a barrel last night as OPEC announced it was on track to meet its global supply target. The strength in the US dollar weighed on base metals, with gold and copper falling by more than 1%.

6. And lastly, cryptos are having a good week, with bitcoin continuing its steady climb back to $US12,000. But Litecoin was the big mover overnight, jumping by around 10% following a hard fork of the currency.

Have a great day.

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