6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,802.12 -82.00 (-0.33%)
S&P 500: 2,726.62 -1.50 (-0.05%)
AUD/USD: 0.7824 -0.0005 (-0.06%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March contracts): 5,927 (+30)

1. Global stocks largely shrugged off further fears around trade tensions in the wake of Gary Cohn’s departure from the White House, which saw S&P500 futures dip by more than 1% in Asian trade. But US stocks have clawed back early losses in the overnight session — although trade-lined industrial stocks fell sharply — while European markets rose, led by gains of 1% in Italy and Germany.

2. Bitcoin is getting hammered: Prices have slumped below $US10,000 for the first time in more than a week amid reports that major crypto exchange Binance had been hacked. That gave rise to a coordinated selloff with most major cryptos sharply lower this morning, although the CEO of Binance has tweeted that all funds on the exchange are safe.

3. In fiat currencies, it was a little quieter with the US dollar index trading flat after making back some ground against the yen and the euro. A short time ago, the Aussie dollar was holding at the upper end of its overnight trading range between 0.7790-0.7830 US cents.

4. In line with what was a relatively steady session on global markets, bond yields were little-changed with benchmark US 10-years edging slightly higher to 2.89% this morning. And gold gave back most of the previous day’s gain after yesterday’s market jitters drove demand for the precious metal.

5. The day ahead: Australia has the balance of trade report for January (ABS, 11:30am AEDT), with markets forecasting a return to surplus after a big deficit in December. Tonight the ECB holds its policy meeting, where the focus will be on the bank’s 2018 outlook with no change expected to current monetary policy settings.

6. Oil gets hammered: Prices fell by more than 2%, weighed down by the combination of concerns about global trade and weekly oil inventory data in the US which showed stock supply rose by 2.4 million barrels. And iron ore prices dropped for the fourth straight session to now sit at a one-month low.

Have a great day.

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