To the scoreboard:
Dow: 21,783.40 -28.69 (-0.13%)
S&P 500: 2,438.97 -5.07 (-0.21%)
AUD/USD: 0.7902 -0.0002 (-0.03%
ASX200 SPI futures (Sept contracts): 5,708 (-4)
Iron ore benchmark 62% fines $US77.16/t (-0.85%)
1. Snooze alert: It was another quiet night on global markets ahead of the annual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole later tonight. US Fed chair Janet Yellen and ECB president Mario Draghi are both scheduled to speak. Benchmark bond yields are little changed, which suggests that markets don’t expect either speaker to signal any major shift in their current policy outlook.
2. Bond market responds to US debt ceiling: While longer term bond yields were steady, there was more action in short-term US debt on concerns about the government’s debt ceiling. Congress needs to vote by mid-October on whether to extend it or risk a government shutdown, and yields are rising on US treasuries which have an October expiry as the stand-off continues.
3. Stocks do nothing: The ASX200 remains range bound and futures traders expect the local index will be little changed at the open this morning following low activity on global markets. Earnings season continues with a further five companies set to report, headlined by Qantas which will announce its full-year results.
4. Currency markets play the waiting game: The US dollar has also been trading within a range this week ahead of Jackson Hole, as traders look for the next catalyst to move markets. The greenback bounced off its recent low against the yen and gained ground against most major currencies. The Aussie dollar remains at US79 cents this morning after falling to a low of 0.7868 overnight.
5. Commodities wrap: Iron ore prices fell overnight but remain steady in the high-$70 range, and futures are trending higher. Oil slipped by more than 1%, despite some focus on a tropical storm which may suspend production in the Gulf of Mexico. Gold eased back from its recent push toward $1,300 an ounce, and a short time ago was trading at $1,291.
6. Sunday showdown: Let’s face it — markets are quiet. It’s also Friday and the biggest fight of the year is almost here, so time to talk some sports. Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor: who you got? It’s on Mayweather’s turf in the boxing ring which makes Floyd the betting favourite, but McGregor has been an underdog before and punters appear to be giving the Irishman more than a puncher’s chance. The fight’s scheduled for early Sunday afternoon in Australia.
Enjoy your weekend, I’m on Twitter @Mr_SamJacobs.