To the scoreboard:
Dow: 23,435.01 +57.77 (+0.25%)
S&P 500: 2,579.36 +4.10 (+0.16%)
AUD/USD: 0.7675 +0.0019 (+0.25%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,933 (+4)
1. US Fed barely moves the needle: The Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold as expected, and the announcement had little impact across asset classes with the Fed still on track to raise rates in December. On the topic of the next Fed Chair, the White House has contacted Jerome Powell to confirm his appointment, according to the WSJ.
2. USD finds a bid: Bond rates and currencies are little-changed in the wake of the Powell decision. The US dollar caught a bid overnight against the euro and pound on more solid economic data, as ADP private sector payrolls beat expectations and ISM data showed manufacturing activity dipped slightly but remains elevated.
3. Bitcoin scales the heights: Bitcoin rocketed to new highs above $US6,500 overnight, as price momentum continues in the wake of the CBOE’s decision to include Bitcoin futures on its trading platform. Here’s what that means. Demand was also strong for off-shoot Bitcoin Cash, which shot up by more than 12% and is now just below $US500:
4. Solid session for stocks: German stocks were the standout in Europe while US stocks edged higher. Markets are awaiting details about the Trump administration’s tax reform proposals, which were delayed amid disputes among Republican lawmakers. The latest details of the tax plan are expected to be announced tonight.
5. Data today: Domestically, there’s September data for building approvals and balance of international trade — both from the ABS at 11:30am AEST. Later tonight the Bank of England is set to make its interest rate announcement, with market expectations for a rise in the benchmark rate to 0.5% from 0.25%.
6. Iron ore stabilises: Spot prices rose by 1.4% last night and futures markets are pointing higher, although benchmark 62% fines remain below $US60 a ton. It was a good session for base metals too, as copper is again testing resistance at a three-year high while gold and nickel prices also rose. Benchmark brent oil prices remained above $US60 a barrel for the fourth straight day.