6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

US stocks rose for a second day Tuesday on better-than-expected earnings reports as markets shrugged off the latest rise in US-China trade war tensions. The S&P 500 rallied nearly 1.25%, which bodes well for another move higher on the local index.

Here’s the scoreboard:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,786.63 +213.59 (+0.87%)

S&P 500: 2,710.95 +33.11 (1.24%)

AUD/USD: 0.7770 -0.0011 (-0.14%)

ASX 200 SPI futures: 5,842 (+24)

1. Earnings season rolls on: Goldman Sachs reported earnings and smashed analyst expectations. Netflix also surged about 9% on last night’s earnings report, which showed it added nearly seven and a half million subscribers in the first quarter.

2. While US markets are rallying, stocks in China fell by more than 1% for the second straight day yesterday. Last night the People’s Bank of China reduced the reserve requirement ratio — the minimum amount of cash banks have to hold — by 1%, in an effort to free up funding for smaller companies.

3. Meanwhile, China also slapped a 179% import tax on US sorghum — a key agricultural export — as trade tensions between the world’s largest economies continue to linger.

4. Aluminium jumped to a near seven-year high as US sanctions against Russia hit the market. Sanctioned companies include Kremlin-linked aluminium giant Rusal, which is the world’s second largest producer of the metal.

5. Despite the risk-on sentiment in global markets, the Aussie dollar fell slightly overnight. And the UK pound dipped from its post-Brexit highs reached in the previous session, although UK employment data beat expectations.

6. Bitcoin took a sharp fall this morning and is back below $US8,000 in early trade. The moves came a few hours after New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced that he will launch an investigation into cryptocurrency exchanges.

Here’s today’s economic calendar:

  • Westpac’s Leading Index economic indicator
  • China house price data
  • Japanese trade figures for March
  • The UK reports monthly inflation data March
  • Bank of Canada interest rate announcement
  • Morgan Stanley reports first-quarter earnings.
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