6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 23,557.99 +31.81 (+0.14%)
S&P 500: 2,602.42 +5.34 (+0.21%)
AUD/USD: 0.7616 -0.0009 (-0.12%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,993 (-1)

1. Bitcoin is going ballistic: Prices surged to a new record above $US9,400 over the weekend, amid reports of a surge in users on one of the largest US trading platforms. With demand like that, mining new coins is particularly lucrative and uses the resources to match — the electricity used to mine Bitcoin this year is more than the annual usage of Ireland.

2. Euro strength continues: The currency climbed to a two-month high above $US1.19 to end the week, helped by more positive economic data out of Germany. With lingering sentiment that the US Fed has is taking a more dovish outlook toward inflation, the Japanese yen and UK pound also climbed against the greenback.

3. The week ahead: Quarterly capital expenditure figures from the ABS on Thursday will be the main event in a quiet week of domestic data. There’s a number of potential market-moving events in the US with Fed speakers, tax-bill developments and inflation data on Thursday night. Europe also has unemployment data on Thursday night. The full calendar is here.

4. Global stocks finish ahead: Amid low trading volumes after the thanksgiving holiday, US stocks edged to a new record high on Friday. Global markets steadied to end the week after market jitters caused by Thursday’s sharp selloff in China. The benchmark Shanghai composite index traded flat on Friday to close up by 0.06%.

5. Yield curve still flat: The spread between 2-year bond yields on US and Australian government debt is still close to zero, as the Aussie dollar starts the week just above US76 cents after failing to break higher amid US dollar weakness on Friday. The US Fed has signaled a preference to fund extra borrowing needs with shorter-term debt rather than issue long term 10-year or 30-year bonds, according to a report in the FT.

6. Oil prices poised to break higher: Traders are bullish ahead of this week’s OPEC meeting in Vienna on Thursday night, where an extension to the current supply-cut agreement which expires in 2018 is likely to be agreed to. US WTI oil hit its highest level in over two years on Friday, amid further supply disruptions from damage to the Keystone pipeline.

Have a great day.

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