– It will be a very quiet day’s trade in Australia today with most traders leaving their desk around lunchtime but there has been some solid news overnight from the US economy.
– Indeed it appears that the US economy just might be reaching escape velocity with the Chicago Fed activity index printing stronger than expected at 0.60 from -0.07 last. While that doesn’t sound like much the zero line is trend growth so 0.6 suggests above trend growth for the US economy as it enters 2014. Personal consumption was as expected but the Reuters/Michigan University Consumer Sentiment index jumped from 75.1 last month to 82.5 in December.
– As a result stocks surged again in the US with the Dow up 0.46%, to 16,295, the Nasdaq is up 1.08% and the S&P 500 rose 0.53% or 10 points to 1,828. Apple was on a tear up 3.82% to $570 on the back of the China Mobile deal that was announced over the weekend.
– European stocks were also higher with the FTSE up 1.10%, the DAX up 0.94% while the CAC was 0.51% higher. In Milan the FTSE MIB rose 0.71% while in Madrid the IBEX was up 0.7%.
– On the ASX the Santa rally continued overnight with the March SPI 200 contract up 28 points to 5296 bid.
– On FX markets it looks like traders have gone home with a very quiet start to the week. Even though the US data was strong which suggests the USD should have rallied it’s a little lower across the board with the Euro is up 0.15% at 1.3690, GBP a little stronger also at 1.6352 and USDJPY largely unchanged at 104.08. The Australian dollar is up a little at 0.8930.
– On Commodity markets gold drifted back a few dollars and is sitting at $1198 this morning, crude was also down losing 0.5% to $98.82 but copper was unchanged at $3.35. On the Ags corn rose 0.23%, wheat fell 0.65% and soybeans were 0.78% lower. Bitcoin is resting at $682.
On the data front even though it will be quiet here at home in Australia there is a little bit of data in the US which could move markets, especially stocks, tonight with the releases of Durable goods and housing prices and sales together with the Richmond Fed Index.