6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

Photo by Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Stocks closed lower for the first time this week on Thursday, dragged down by the tech sector. Commodities held near multi-year highs, and inflation jitters pushed bonds lower.

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,657.39 −90.68 (-0.37%)

S&P 500: 2,696.08 −12.56 (-0.46%)

AUD/USD: 0.7732 -0.0053 (-0.68%)

ASX 200 SPI futures (June contracts): 5,844 (-10)

  1. All eyes on bonds: The 10-year Treasury yield rose by five basis points overnight to close above 2.90% after the Philadelphia Fed’s prices paid index spiked in April, while weekly jobless claims also edged lower. This week’s oil price rally has also added to concerns about rising inflation
  2. ASX200 futures traders have marked the local index down slightly after US markets lost momentum overnight. Falls were led by the tech-focused NASDAQ index, which dipped by as much as 1.2% before closing 0.78% lower.
  3. Iron ore rockets higher: Spot prices had their biggest one-day gain since December 22 overnight, and have climbed by 7.1% over the past three days. Oil was mixed but is still sitting near multi-year highs, with benchmark crude closing at $US73.78 a barrel while WTI oil fell slightly.
  4. Base metals came off their recent highs as copper fell by around 1% and aluminum also dipped after reaching a seven-year high this week. Amid a more cautious tone on global markets, gold held steady overnight at around $US1,345 an ounce.
  5. In currencies, the UK pound extended falls to close at $US1.4074 after reaching $US1.4376 earlier this week, while the Mexican peso got smoked amid increased political uncertainty. And after it held up in the wake of yesterday’s underwhelming employment report, the AUD came under selling pressure overnight as the US dollar gained against most major currencies.
  6. And it was a rough session for cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris International. Shares in the company plunged more than 15%, as reports of declining cigarette volumes and slow growth put the stock on track for its worst drop in a decade.

Here’s Friday’s economic calendar:

  • Japanese inflation data.
  • NAFTA negotiations continue in Washington.
  • OPEC meets tonight in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Canada will release monthly inflation figures and retail sales data.

Have a great day.

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