To the scoreboard:
- Dow: 24,456.48 +99.74 (+0.41%)
- S&P 500: 2,759.82 +23.21 (+0.85%
- AUD/USD: 0.7433 +0.0046 (+0.62%)
- ASX200 SPI futures (September contracts): 6,250 (+26)
1. Monthly employment data on Friday night showed the US economy added another 213,000 jobs in June (190,000 forecast), while unemployment edged higher as more people looked for work and wage growth held steady.
2. The jobs print was an indicator that the US economy continues to grow steadily, but inflationary forces remain subdued — a happy medium for equity markets. US stocks rallied to end the week, led by another round of strong gains in the tech sector.
3. The US dollar came under selling pressure, with flat wage growth seen as an indicator that the pace of rate hikes by the US Fed may not have to be quite as fast. The euro pushed back above $US1.17, while the pound rallied after a step forward in Brexit negotiations. And the AUD has started the week back above US74 cents, but not every analyst thinks it will stay there.
4. US government bond yields dipped across the curve in the wake of the employment data. Benchmark US 10-years closed at 2.824%, with CME’s Fedwatch tool showing the probability of a fourth 2018 rate hike in December by the US Fed has dipped back below 50%.
5. The week ahead: Australia will get an update on business and consumer sentiment, while a Wednesday speech by APRA chairman Wayne Byres on the housing market will also get plenty of attention. Key data abroard will be led by US inflation figures on Thursday night. The full calendar is here.
6. Iron ore markets remain choppy, while oil prices were flat to end the week but Bank of America analysts said a zero-tolerance policy by the US towards Iran could push prices above $US120 a barrel. Bitcoin and other cryptos edged higher over the weekend, as the founder of ethereum said he hoped centralised crypto exchanges “burn in hell“.
Have a great week.