To the scoreboard:
Dow: 23,539.19 +22.93 (+0.10%)
S&P 500: 2,587.84 +7.99 (+0.31%)
AUD/USD: 0.7651 -0.0062 (-0.80%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts, 20 minute delay): 5,955 (+16)
1. US jobs steady if not spectacular: Monthly non-farm payrolls in the US on Friday night showed a gain of 261,000 jobs in October, short of the 330,000 expected while data from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) showed US non-manufacturing activity hit a 12-year high. The solid data helped drive gains in the USD against the Euro and the Pound, as the US dollar index rose by 0.2% to finish the week just below 95.
2. AUD gets sold off: The Aussie dollar fell further against all the major currencies on Friday night to close the week at 0.7651 US cents, its lowest level since July 11. Sellers picked up where Asian traders left off in the wake of another poor retail sales report, which missed expectations for the third straight month.
3. Bond yields in retreat: Following more solid data on Friday, the US Fed remains on track to raise rates again in December but the bond market appears unconvinced about the pace of further rate hikes next year. Shorter term 2-year bond yields edged higher while benchmark 10-year US treasury yields dipped slightly to end the week at 2.33%. Australian 10-year bond yields fell by 12 basis points last week to close at 2.58%.
4. Bitcoin juggernaut: At its current level above $US7,500, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has now added more than $US2,000 of value in the last two weeks alone, with the recent price action seemingly driven by the addition of Bitcoin to the world’s biggest future exchange, ahead of another likely fork in the currency in mid-November.
5. The week ahead: Domestically, it’s all about the RBA this week with the central bank set to make its interest rate announcement on Tuesday (no change expected). That’s followed by the quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy on Friday, with updated forecasts for growth, inflation and the unemployment rate. For a rundown of all the key local and international data points, the weekly calendar is here.
6. US stocks buoyant to end the week: The S&P 500 closed at a another record high as Apple shares rose by 2.6% after the company smashed earnings estimates on Thursday night. The global lead has ASX futures traders confident of another solid open, as the local index continues its recent push towards 6,000.
BONUS ITEM: Benchmark crude oil rallied again to close at a multi-year high of $US62.07 a barrel on Friday, and the string of corruption arrests in Saudi Arabia over the weekend may have an impact on oil markets to start the week.
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