6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 25,280.16 -15.71 (-0.06%)
S&P 500: 2,748.02 +4.87 (+0.18%)
AUD/USD: 0.7842 -0.0022 (-0.28%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March 2018 contracts, 20 minute delay): 6,089 (+8)

1. US dollar holds ground: The greenback climbed against the euro for the second straight session, despite a Eurozone economic sentiment survey hitting its highest level since 2000. Net long positioning in the euro remains at high levels with the USD still under broader downside pressure.

2. The NASDAQ was the best performing index in US stocks, with investors showing a tone of caution after the S&P500 posted its biggest weekly gain in 13 months to start the year. And Morgan Stanley analysts reckon we’re in the “euphoria stage” of the current bull market, which usually signals the beginning of the end.

3. Rough night for cryptos: Large cryptos including bitcoin, ethereum and ripple fell sharply overnight, and it was seemingly due to a policy shift from the website coinmarketcap.com. More details here. And Israel’s central bank said it won’t recognise bitcoin as a currency, instead classifying it as a financial asset, the AFR reports.

4. US bond yields little-changed: One of the factors keeping broader downside pressure on the USD is that inflation expectations remain subdued, despite steady growth in the US economy. Markets aren’t expecting monthly core inflation to rise above 1.7% — below the US Fed’s 2% mandate — and US 10-year bond yields were little changed overnight at 2.48%.

5. No Amazon nightmare for Aussie retail: A Deutsche Bank survey of Australian retailers showed post-Christmas sales beat expectations, and Amazon’s soft roll-out in early December had little impact on the market, the AFR reports.

6. Five straight gains for iron ore: And futures markets are surging as prices remain at four-month highs. This morning on the domestic data front ANZ has monthly jobs ads and weekly consumer confidence figures, and at 11:30am AEDT the ABS releases building approvals data for November.

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