6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 22,872.89 +42.21 (+0.18%)
S&P 500: 2,555.24 +4.60 (+0.18%)
AUD/USD: 0.7788 +0.0011 (+0.14%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,743 (-2)

1. European tensions ease: Spain’s IBEX stock index rose by 1.3%, as the Catalonian leader stopped short of declaring independence overnight. There’s some good details on the complex negotiations here. Markets were flat elsewhere in Europe, as well as the UK while US stocks edged up to yet another record high in a relatively cautious night of global trade.

2. US dollar still under pressure: The USD index continued its downturn this week after hitting recent highs, as the minutes from the US Fed’s September meeting showed committee members were split on the inflation outlook. Easing tensions in Spain also helped the euro push back towards $US1.19, while the Aussie dollar briefly crept back above US78 cents.

3. Iron ore falls below key benchmark: Spot prices are back under $US60 a tonne for the first time since late June, amid worries about oversupply combined with the reduced demand outlook coming into winter. Base metals were mixed although copper remains elevated at its highest level since August 2014. In oil markets, benchmark crude closed up 0.4%.

4. Quiet night abroad: Amid a year of low volatility, last night was particularly quiet with US bond yields little-changed despite some uncertainty from the Fed minutes. If anything there was a mild tone of caution, with gold pushing back above $US1,290 an ounce amid renewed US dollar weakness.

5. Step right up and place your crypto bets: Bitcoin is holding up so far this week just off its record high, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the latest price forecast from a leading finance professional. This time it was Michael Novogratz — formerly of Fortress Investments — who’s expecting Bitcoin-mania to drive prices above $US10,000 over the next 6-10 months.

6. Earnings season awaits: The US stock market is storming into earnings season at new record highs. Donald Trump likes to take credit for that, so Business Insider’s Joe Ciolli tested whether his claims hold up. And Goldman are back with their winning strategy to gain from earnings season volatility — the straddle trade — noting that results for the September quarter usually give rise to sharper price movements.

Enjoy your day, I’m on Twitter @Mr_SamJacobs.

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