To the scoreboard:
Dow: 21,813.67 +30.27 (+0.14%)
S&P 500: 2,443.05 +4.08 (+0.17%)
AUD/USD: 0.7933 -0.0001 (-0.01%)
ASX200 SPI futures (Sept contracts): 5,716 (+6)
Iron ore benchmark 62% fines $US78.77/t (+2.1%)
1. Euro bulls hold sway after Jackson Hole: No big changes from the key speakers (as expected). US Fed chair Janet Yellen defended financial regulations, while ECB president Mario Draghi cited steady global growth but remained cautious on Europe’s inflation outlook. However, Draghi made no specific mention of the negative impact from a stronger currency and that appeared to be enough for traders to drive the euro higher. It closed above $US1.19 and is at its strongest levels since early 2015.
2. Aussie gets a boost above US79c: With the US dollar index now at its lowest level since late 2014, Friday’s fall provided a bit of a catalyst for the AUD to push back above US79c. Despite that, the greenback’s recent falls have been largely driven by strength in the euro, while the pound also made a strong move on Friday. Macro conditions remain relatively supportive for the Aussie and other commodity block currencies, with elevated base metals and commodity prices and a steady global growth outlook.
3. The week ahead: It’s a relatively quiet start on the data front, before July building approvals data on Wednesday, followed by Q2 capital expenditure figures and private sector credit growth on Thursday. Looking abroad, there’s a wave of August PMI data on Friday which will provide an update on the global growth outlook. Also on Friday, US employment figures for August will be the headline release for the week. Full calendar is here.
4. Aussie stocks creeping higher: Friday was another quiet session on major global stock markets, and futures for the local index are little-changed ahead of this morning’s open. As earnings season comes to an end, Aussie stocks remain set within their recent range. Although the ASX200 has been unable to break above 5,800, it’s recent lows have been edging up which suggests that there was a little more positivity crept into the market in earnings season.
5. Making a dash: Dash is the latest major cryptocurrency to make a serious move, almost doubling in recent weeks to now be the fifth biggest player by market capitalisation. With hundreds of cryptocurrencies and a new initial coin offering (ICO) every other day, there’s a lot of noise in the crypto space but when there’s a big move among the main coins, it’s still worth keeping an eye on. Dash was set up in 2014, with a finite number of coins (like Bitcoin) and a decentralised network of smart contracts (like Ethereum).
6. Wild swing for gold: The precious metal briefly dipped below $1,280 an ounce on Friday before bouncing back above $US1,290. With a weak US dollar, gold is once again pushing back towards $US1,300, and a break above that could see it run higher. Benchmark crude is steady in its recent range above $US50 a barrel, edging higher with US production shut off by Hurricane Harvey. Iron ore climbed towards $US80 a barrel but futures markets suggest the recent high is in for now.