6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,285.95 -178.74 (-0.73%)
  • S&P 500: 2,632.56 -17.37 (-0.66%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7231 -0.0023 (-0.32%)
  • ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,666 (-37)

1. Oil prices hit a 2018 low on Friday night, as brent crude slumped below $US60 a barrel — a fall of over 30% from the October peak. Market dynamics have shifted from a supply shortfall to supply glut, as the US and Russia ramp up production amid a cooling outlook for global demand.


2. Energy stocks dragged the S&P500 lower, amid light trading volumes as US markets returned from holiday. It followed an ugly session for stocks in Shanghai, which fell by more than 2% on Friday. With a weak global lead, ASX futures look set to open lower this morning.

3. The UK pound has opened marginally higher in Asian trade, following news that the EU has approved the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. The draft deal now has to be passed by the UK House of Commons in a voate on December 11.

4. The selloff in iron ore is accelerating, while it was a brutal weekend for Bitcoin as a sharp selloff on Sunday morning saw prices crash through $US4,000. A short time ago Bitcoin was holding above $US3,800 — a fall of more than 80% from its all-time high.

5. The week ahead: It’s a relatively light schedule of headline data at home and abroad. Internationally, four committee members from the US Fed are scheduled to speak, and markets will be watching for evidence of changes to the Fed’s economic outlook. The full calendar is here.

6. Broader strength in the US dollar on Friday night means the Australian dollar will start the week back at 0.7231 US cents. The AUD “is likely to remain around the 0.7180 to 0.7300 level this week if domestic data releases are left to drive its direction,” CBA’s Richard Grace said.

Have a great week.

The main events on today’s economic calendar:

  • New Zealand quarterly retail sales data.
  • Speech from RBA governor Philip Lowe “A Journey Towards a Near Cashless Payments System” (9:15am AEDT).
  • Speech from the RBA’s Christopher Kent “Securitisation and the Housing Market” (2pm AEDT).
  • Bank of England governor Mark Carney, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan speak in the UK.