6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,290.05 +58.46 (+0.24%)
S&P 500: 2,639.32 -2.90 (-0.11%)
AUD/USD: 0.7595 -0.0018 (-0.24%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,969 (-27)

1. Broad strength in the USD: The greenback is higher against all major currencies this morning as markets assess the impact of Friday night’s tax-cut legislation. The pound was the other main mover, falling late in the session as Brexit talks stalled amid disagreements over the Irish border. And the AUD held in a narrow range ahead of a big day of data.

2. Key data today will be led by October retail sales (11:30am AEST), given the importance of retail spending to the consumption outlook. The market is forecasting monthly growth of 0.2% after spending flatlined in October. There’s also the RBA’s monthly interest rate announcement (2:30pm AEST), and non-government Caixin PMIs out of China.

3. US stocks mixed: The Dow hit a new record high, but the S&P500 got sold into the close after an early boost from Friday night’s tax-cut bill. And there were heavier falls in tech stocks — a number of which already have a lower tax rate — with the NASDAQ finishing more than 1% lower.

4. Iota coin heats up: It was a comparatively low session of volatility by Bitcoin’s recent standards overnight, but IOTA coin — now the world’s fifth biggest cryptocurrency — added $US3 billion in value (it’s up around 600% over the past month) after announcing it had teamed up with big tech companies to create a data marketplace.

Source: Investing.com

5. Iron ore goes bullish: Prices for benchmark 62% fines posted their eighth gain in nine sessions, amid the continued backdrop of higher steel prices as Chinese authorities implement production cuts. It was a weaker session for base metals, with gold and copper both lower while benchmark crude oil fell by 1.8% as markets assess the impact of increased US production.

6. 2018 is a wild card for interest rates: Markets are forecasting as many as three rate hikes by the US Fed next year, but Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker remains cautious. In an interview with Business Insider, Harker said he still supports a December rate hike but is undecided about next year, citing concerns about the slow rate of inflation growth.

Have a great day.

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