6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty ImagesPeople watch a television news report showing pictures of US President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a railway station in Seoul on March 9, 2018.

Stocks closed lower Thursday as heightening tensions between the US and North Korea spooked markets. Gold spiked, and oil fell. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped below 3%.

To the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,811.76 -75.05 (-0.30%)
  • S&P 500: 2,727.76 -5.53 (-0.20%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7578 +0.0002 (+0.03%)
  • ASX200 SPI futures (June contracts): 6,016 (-27)
  1. Trump canceled a planned summit between the US and North Korea. Trump cited “open hostility” in a recent Pyongyang statement as he scrapped the high-stakes meeting. Defence stocks rallied following the news.
  2. The Justice Department reportedly opened a criminal investigation into market manipulation of cryptocurrency prices. Bloomberg reported the Justice Department is working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the probe.
  3. Brent crude fell back below $US79 a barrel, amid reports that OPEC may ease back on its production cuts to make up for supply shortfalls in Venezuala and Iran. But iron ore’s losing streak is well and truly over, as prices for benchmark 62% fines ripped higher overnight.
  4. The US dollar index fell by 0.3% as the President of the Dallas Fed said the pace of rate hikes may slow in 2019. That helped provide support for the Aussie, as the safe-haven Japanese yen found demand while the euro edged higher despite the weakest growth in German GDP since Q3 2016.
  5. US auto stocks fell amid news Trump is considering slapping hefty taxes on imported cars and trucks. The US’s closest allies could hurt the most from US auto tariffs.
  6. And Deutsche Bank announced that it’s axing 7,000 investment banking jobs. The broad restructuring will reduce global head count to 90,000.

Have a great weekend.

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