To the scoreboard:
Dow: 24,360.14 -122.91 (-0.50%)
S&P 500: 2,656.30 -7.69 (-0.29%)
AUD/USD: 0.7767 +0.0003 (+0.04%)
ASX200 SPI futures (June contracts): 5,810 (-6)
1. US stocks dipped to end the week in a cautious session of trade, as financial stocks lagged the broader index even though three major banks — led by JP Morgan’s 35% profit increase — got quarterly earnings season off to a solid start.
2. Currency markets have reacted indifferently in early trade to the US-led strikes on Syria over the weekend. The Aussie dollar — generally seen as a proxy for risk-sentiment — is little-changed this morning, after it briefly pushed above US78 cents on Friday night before meeting resistance.
3. And in bonds, the yields on 2-year US government treasuries continued to rise as the US Fed remains committed to at least two more rate hikes this year. That’s left the yield-spread between 2-year and 10-year bonds at 46.6 basis points — the lowest level since 2007.
4. The week ahead: Q1 GDP data for China tomorrow and Australia’s March employment report on Thursday both present upside risk to the AUD, according to CBA currency strategist Elias Haddad.. There’s also multiple inflation prints and a wave of US Fed speakers. The full calendar is here.
5. Crude oil closed at $US72.58 after briefly hitting an almost four-year high above $US73 on Friday night. In addition to tension in the middle-east, the International Energy Agency reported on Friday night that global oil inventories are falling.
6. And lastly, people are still buying Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency bounced off its recent lows late last week and climbed back above $US8,000 over the weekend. Here’s a summary of the latest price-action among the world’s top five cryptos: