6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,796.75 -168.00 (-0.67%)
S&P 500: 2,701.38 -14.88 (-0.55%)
AUD/USD: 0.7811 -0.0072 (-0.91%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March contracts): 5,929 (+15)

1. It was business as usual for US stocks overnight, which were up 1% until a sharp selloff saw the Dow slump by 450 points into the close. That followed the release of the US Fed’s minutes from its January 31 meeting which showed the Fed is broadly positive about US economic growth and remains on track to continue its rate-hiking cycle this year.

2. US bond yields fluctuated immediately after the release of the Fed’s board minutes, but some late selling in the end of the curve has seen US 10-year yields rise to a multi-year high of almost 2.95% this morning. Also overnight there was a $US35 billion auction of 5-year bonds which only saw moderate demand.

3. It was a choppy session on currency markets, as the US dollar initially weakened but finished higher against most major currencies while the Aussie dollar is getting hammered. Traders gave some attention to global manufacturing PMI data, which showed another rise in the US while Europe missed expectations. Citibank’s economic surprise index has now turned negative in Europe for the first time since 2016, while the reading for the US increased to +50.

4. Will the the stock volatility seen in early February turn out to be the start of a major market correction? Business Insider co-founder Henry Blodget thinks so, and he sat down with Sarah Silverstein to discuss his outlook. You can watch the interview here.

5. Cryptos got sold off overnight after bitcoin pushed above $US11,000 yesterday in Asian trade. It’s back below $US10,300 this morning and as usual, prices moved in lockstep with other major cryptos which are all sharply lower overnight — although bitcoin has regained some of its dominance as a percentage of total market capitalisation. And even free-market Republicans who hate regulation want to see bitcoin regulated.

6. In commodities, Bloomberg reports that JP Morgan says the rising outlook for inflation will be good for commodity prices. In the overnight price action, oil was mixed in the $US65-a-barrel range as the market struggles for direction this week. Across base metals, copper rose while gold — which has been exhibiting some unusual price behaviour — edged lower to $US1,325 an ounce.

Have a great day.

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