To the scoreboard:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,407.86 +428.76 (+1.79%)
S&P 500: 2,659.04 +45.88 (+1.76%)
AUD/USD: 0.7764 +0.0067 (+0.87%)
ASX200 SPI futures (June contracts): 5,841 (+2)
1. US stocks extended the gains in Asia yesterday after Chinese President Xi calmed investor nerves with a conciliatory speech on trade. But with most of that good news already priced in locally, futures traders have only marked the ASX200 up slightly this morning.
2. And markets were impressed as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced the music in Washington about the company’s data breach scandal and Russian inteference in the election. Shares in the social network closed 4.5% higher.
3. Oil rockets higher: Prices got a boost as trade-war fears eased while middle-east tensions remain high after an alleged chemical attack in Syria. Benchmark crude closed at $US71.12 a barrel, its highest level of the year.
4. Aussie battler digs in: The AUD picked up steam yesterday in the wake of Xi’s comments, and traders piled in overnight as the Aussie got a further boost from rising commodity prices. But the USD still can’t take a trick — among the major trading pairs, it gained against the safe-haven yen but lost ground to the euro.
5. On the data schedule, there’s Westpac’s monthly consumer confidence index this morning and RBA Governor Lowe will give a speech in Perth. The main event in Asian trade will be Chinese CPI & PPI figures. Then tonight all eyes will be on US inflation for March, with core inflation forecast to rise by 0.2% for an annual gain of 2.1%.
6. Ahead of US CPI, last night’s PPI inflation figures beat expectations with a 0.3% monthly gain. The move in US treasuries was relatively muted though, as the yield on benchmark US 10-year bonds edged higher to 2.8%.
Have a great day.