6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 24,589.51 +398.61 (+1.65%)
S&P 500: 2,656.12 +36.57 (+1.40%)
AUD/USD: 0.7850 +0.0035 (+0.45%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March 2018 contracts): 5,776 (+35)

1. Global markets steadied overnight after a week of volatility, reverting back in line with the two main themes of recent months as stocks climbed and the US dollar weakened. Strong gains on the S&P500 gave European markets a boost, and the ASX looks set to recoup yesterday’s losses as the positive sentiment extends to Asia.

2. Equities and currency traders appeared to shrug off more selling in bond markets, as the Trump administration announced its latest budget and infrastructure plans. Benchmark US 10-year bond yields briefly rose above 2.9% — the highest level since early 2014 — before receding back to around 2.86% over the course of the session.

3. The US dollar found resistance against most major currencies overnight, and the US dollar index is holding just above 90 this morning, off its three-year low of 88.44 last month but still under broader downside pressure. The Aussie dollar found support across the board as risk appetite returned to markets.

4. The day ahead: This morning at 11:30am AEDT the NAB releases it’s monthly business survey for January. Recent monthly surveys show domestic business conditions are near all-time highs, while NAB’s quarterly data last week showed some businesses are reporting upward pressure on wages. Later tonight, key data abroad will be led by UK inflation figures for January.

5. Bitcoin is on the move: Prices steadied at around $US8,000 over the weekend after slumping to below $US6,000 last Tuesday. This morning the cryptocurrency is pushing towards $US9,000, although technical analysis from JP Morgan suggests Bitcoin is at a “fairly high risk” of dropping to $US4,605 a coin.

6. The recent pressure on commodity prices eased slightly overnight as crude oil halted its 6-day losing streak with a 0.5% gain to $US63.08 a barrel — still more than 10% lower than its three-year high reached last month. Some weakness in the US dollar gave gold and copper a small boost, but both are still 3% and 5% lower respectively from their late-January high.

Have a great day.

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