To the scoreboard:
Dow: 23,557.09 +8.67 (+0.04%)
S&P 500: 2,590.52 -0.61 (-0.02%)
AUD/USD: 0.7644 -0.0048 (-0.62%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts, 20 minute delay): 5,975 (-26)
1. AUD retreats: The Aussie was sold off across the board overnight. While the RBA’s neutral statement accompanying yesterday’s interest rate announcement barely moved the needle in Asian trade, the lack of hawkishness appeared to be a catalyst for AUD selling on global markets. The AUD also got no support from commodities and base metals prices which all fell overnight.
2. US dollar gets a bump: The greenback’s move higher was driven in part by a fall in the euro, which is back under $US1.16 this morning after German industrial production data missed expectations. The USD also posted gains against the commodity bloc currencies — the AUD, Canadian loonie and the Kiwi dollar — as commodity prices fell and oil edged lower from its recent highs.
3. Global stocks cool off: US stocks were flat as the debate on tax reform continues, and there were sharper falls in Europe as corporate earnings missed expectations. That’s seen ASX futures traders mark the local index down this morning, after it closed above 6,000 yesterday for the first time since January 2008.
4. Bitcoin futures: Bitcoin had another surge in value following the decision by the CME Group to include Bitcoin futures on its exchange platform. Here’s how it will work. Bitcoin prices continued lower from their recent highs overnight, but are still holding above $US7,000.
5. Bond buying continues: Moves in bond markets were limited overnight, although longer term bond yields continued to edge lower amid a slightly more risk-off tone in global markets. US 10-year yields fell to 2.31%, as the bond market appears unconvinced about the smooth passage of the Trump administration’s tax reform proposals.
6. Commodities sell-off: Iron ore’s huge rally yesterday ran out of steam, while the fall in base metals was even more severe with copper, zinc and nickel all off by more than 2%. Oil prices fell slightly but remain elevated above $US60 a barrel amid lingering tensions in the middle east.