6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

Greta Small of Australia makes a run during the Ladies’ Downhill Skiing. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Good morning and happy Friday.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,961.57 +163.79 (+0.66%)
S&P 500: 2,704.98 +3.65 (+0.14%)
AUD/USD: 0.7845 +0.0041 (+0.53%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March contracts): 5,951 (+37)

1. US stocks moved higher, despite more selling late in the session following yesterday’s reversal which saw the Dow fall by 450 points. It points to a solid day ahead on Asian markets, with China’s Shanghai Composite index coming off its biggest daily gain in 18 months. And ASX futures traders are confident of a strong finish to what’s been a steady week on the local market, with Woolworths highlighting today’s round of earnings results.

2. The Aussie dollar found some demand after dipping below US78 cents yesterday, benefiting from the combination of broader risk appetite in global markets and more weakness in the USD. The US dollar index if off last Friday’s three-year low but dipped back below 90 this morning, with the main move in USD/YEN which dipped by 1%.

3. Bond yields edged lower across the curve overnight, with the yield on benchmark US 10-year bonds falling to 2.92%. US Federal Reserve committee member James Bullard — a noted dove — said he doesn’t expect four rate hikes this year, but market pricing has raised the probability of a fourth hike to 27.6% — up from 20% a month ago.

4. Bitcoin fell back under $US10,000 for the fourth time this year overnight, while the founder of a cryptocurrency exchange was arrested for lying to regulators. And professional traders are already pushing for cryptocurrency futures markets — which commenced at the end of last year — to switch from cash settlement to physical settlement.

5. Commodities wrap: As David Scutt highlighted yesterday, Macquarie says now is a good time to buy commodities. But while Chinese stocks came back from the holiday with a bang, iron ore markets were a little more sluggish as prices dipped slightly across all grades. Oil had a good session though, with benchmark crude rising more than 1% to a two-week high above $US66 a barrel, while gold climbed back above $US1,330 an ounce.

6. Stock in Snap Inc — the parent company of Snapchat — slumped by more than 6% today, after celebrity Kylie Jenner tweeted that she doesn’t use the app anymore. Users are also upset about Snap’s new interface after it initiated a software update. Atlassian also had a rough day, falling by more than 5% — although the stock is still up by around 11% for the year.

Have a great weekend.

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