6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning


US stocks continued recovering Thursday from a week of turbulence as some White House officials attempted to walk back trade escalations with China.

Here’s the scoreboard:

Dow Jones industrial average: 24,505.22 +240.92 (+0.99%)

S&P 500: 2,662.80 +18.11 (+0.68%)

AUD/USD: 0.7683 -0.0034 (-0.43%)

ASX 200 SPI futures: 5,788 (+18)

  1. The US and China indicated they’re open to negotiations on trade.The shift in sentiment on a wave of tariffs released this week seemed to calm markets, which swung sharply on Wednesday.
  2. The US dollar index climbed to a three-week high, and BAML analysts expect further strength to come as US companies repatriate funds in the wake of the tax law changes. The USD posted gains against all the major pairs with a particularly strong move against the Japanese yen.
  3. And US bond yields are edging higher with benchmark US 10-year treasuries trading at 2.84%. It makes for an interesting setup in markets ahead of all-important US employment data for March tonight.
  4. But another jobs indicator in the US wasn’t quite as strong, as initial jobless claims rose more than expected.The number of people claiming unemployment benefits is now the highest it’s been in almost three months.
  5. A new cryptocurrency hedge fund is coming to the market. Travis Kling, a former Point72 portfolio manager, is looking to raise $US25 million for the cryptocurrency hedge fund. Prices have been under pressure this week with bitcoin stuck below $US7,000, and this crypto-bull blames US tax season for the falls.
  6. Shares of Facebook, which is under fire for a massive data scandal, were up nearly 3%. The jump came after CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters that the turmoil hasn’t affected user behaviour.
  7. Bonus item: Here are the highlights from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s letter to shareholders, released last night.

And here’s today’s economic calendar:

  • US non-farm payrolls are expected to show 175,000 jobs added in March, with average hourly earnings growth of 2.7% (up from 2.6% in February).
  • Canada’s employment report for March is also scheduled for release.

Have a great weekend.

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