Good morning and happy Friday.
To the scoreboard:
Dow: 22,841.01 -31.88 (-0.14%)
S&P 500: 2,550.93 -4.31 (-0.17%)
AUD/USD: 0.7821 +0.0001 (+0.01%)
ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,766 (-2)
1. Markets track sideways: It was another session of cautious trade overnight, with markets on hold to an extent ahead of key US inflation data tonight. That’s after Wednesday’s US Fed minutes showed a degree of uncertainly among policy makers on the outlook for US growth. The S&P500 fell slightly from its recent record highs and the US dollar edged higher, while US bond yields declined.
2. Data today: This morning at 11:30am the RBA releases its semi-annual Financial Stability Review, and there’s September trade data out of China. Then it’s a big night in the US, with the market forecasting annual core inflation growth of 1.8% in September. There’s also data on US retail sales data and consumer confidence, while US Fed voting committee members Evans, Kaplan and Powell are all scheduled to speak.
3. Aussie holds its gains: Ahead of a big day of data releases, the AUD is holding above US78 cents this morning after going on the charge in Asian trade yesterday. Among other major currencies, the Aussie climbed against the euro and pound but was lower against the Kiwi dollar.
4. Bitcoin bulls on the charge: Prices surged to a new record high overnight above $US5,300. Analysts at Bernstein think Bitcoin is still more like gold than fiat money — a safe store of value. And Bitcoin developers who want it to be just that (more like gold) are advocating another split in the currency. As for Jamie Dimon, he’s done talking about it.
5. Bullard remains dovish: James Bullard, President of the St Louis Federal Reserve, outlined his views towards the US economy in an interview with Business Insider. With Fed committee members split in their views on the pace of interest rate rises, Bullard detailed why the central bank should be in no rush to raise rates.
6. Iron ore rebounds: Iron ore finally climbed off the mat, but the gains may be short-lived with futures markets pointing lower amid news that winter production cuts by steel manufactures may be moved forward. Copper, zinc and nickel continued their strong run and remain at multi-year highs, while gold rose slightly. Benchmark crude oil fell to $US56.33 a barrel and is now down by around 4.5% since the two-year peak in late September.
Enjoy your weekend, I’m on Twitter @Mr_SamJacobs.
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