6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

(Barry Chin / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,370.24 -53.02 (-0.22%)
  • S&P 500: 2,637.28 -0.44 (-0.02%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7200 +0.0010 (+0.14%)
  • ASX200 SPI futures (December contracts): 5,604 (+12)

1. US stocks opened higher amid optimism on trade, following reports China is willing to cut tariffs on US auto imports. But momentum faded as Trump sparred with top Democrats over the US-Mexico border wall and said he would be “proud” to shut down the government.

2. Brexit turmoil continues to weigh on the UK pound, which briefly hit a new 20-month low following reports that Prime Minister Theresa May could soon face a vote of no confidence.

3. US bond yields fluctuated in line with the risk-off sentiment, as benchmark US 10-year bonds edged higher to 2.88%. A similar move in shorter-term bonds saw the spread between 2-year and 10-year bonds narrow back at its recent low of around 11 basis points.

4. Brent crude was little-changed at around $US60 a barrel, after reports that Italy’s state-backed oil producer Eni had made a 200-million barrel discovery off the coast of Angola.

5. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index in the US eased back in November, but remains elevated well above its long-term average. Similar to yesterday’s NAB business survey in Australia, the decline was driven by forward-looking indicators, as sentiment towards the economic outlook fell to the lowest level since Trump took office.

6. And rounding out a relatively quiet night on global markets, the Aussie dollar remains trapped in a range as risk-off sentiment following Trump’s outburst saw it fall back below US72 cents this morning.

The main events on today’s economic calendar:

  • Westpac monthly consumer confidence survey.
  • US November inflation data.

Have a great day.