6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 25,733.60 -88.69 (-0.34%)
  • S&P 500: 2,861.82 -1.14 (-0.04%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7349 -0.0022 (-0.30%)
  • ASX200 SPI futures (September contracts): 6,253 (+17)

1. US stocks closed lower overnight as the S&P500 hit its 3,453rd day without a major correction — the longest bull market in history. Strong earnings were offset by a one-two legal punch to the White House that implicated President Donald Trump.

2. Trade wars: Washington and Beijing are back at the negotiating table for the first time since June. But some doubt much progress will be made at the mid-level talks, with no signs yet that President Trump is prepared to back off his trade threats against China.

3. The minutes from the US Fed’s August board meeting showed all committee members highlighted trade tensions as a potential risk. The bank remains on track to raise rates in September, and CME’s FEdwatch tool has the probability of another hike in December at 62.8%.

4. The Fed minutes were initially interpreted as slightly dovish and the USD continued to drift lower. But the AUD lost ground in a choppy session, amid ongoing political uncertainty in Canberra. ASX futures traders have marked the local index higher after a strong session for global mining stocks overnight.

5. Oil prices rallied to a two-week high after data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories last week. That added to existing supply concerns surrounding the Trump administration’s coming sanctions against Iran, which aim to take all Iranian barrels off the market by November.

6. And in emerging markets, the Mexican peso rose strongly following reports the US and Mexico are close to resolving key issues on the NAFTA trade deal. But the Russian rouble got hammered as the threat of more US sanctions looms. Data from the IMF shows Russia has been stockpiling more gold, and selling US treasuries.

Bitcoin bonus: The world’s biggest cryptocurrency is sliding back towards $US6,000 this morning, after an unusual spike yesterday when the BitMEX exchange closed for maintenance.

Here’s a look at the upcoming economic calendar:

  • A wave of preliminary manufacturing PMIs for Japan, the Eurozone and the US.
  • The European Central Bank releases its July meeting minutes.
  • Flight Centre, Qantas and Santos report earnings.

Have a great day.

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