17 January 2021
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Good morning, Australia

Craig James
9 November 2020

How’dy USA

In US economic data, non-farm payrolls (jobs) lifted by 638,000 in October (survey: +593,000). The unemployment rate fell from 7.9% in September to 6.9% in October (survey: 7.6%). Average hourly earnings rose by 0.1% to stand 4.5% higher than a year ago (survey: 4.6%). Consumer credit increased by US$16.21bn in September (survey: US$7.75bn).

US share markets were mixed on Friday. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Congress should enact a smaller, targeted coronavirus stimulus package. At the close of trade, the Dow Jones index was lower by 67 points or 0.2%. The S&P500 index was down 1 point or less than 0.1%. But the Nasdaq was higher by 4 points or less than 0.1%. Wall Street had its best week since April: the Dow Jones rose by 6.9%; S&P 500 rose 7.3%; and the Nasdaq rose by 9%. The S&P 500 also posted its biggest election-week gain since 1932.

US longer-term treasuries fell on Friday (yields higher) in response to encouraging unemployment data. US 2-year yields were steady near 0.155%. But US 10-year yields rose by 4 points to 0.82%. For the week, US 2-year yields rose less than 1 point while US 10-year yields fell by 4 points.

Bonjour Europe

European share markets were mixed on Friday as investors awaited the US election outcome. Automakers fell 1.7%. A multibillion-dollar deal involving RSA Insurance, Canadian insurer Intact Financial and Danish insurer Tryg lifted the insurance sector. Miners rose 2% in response to a weaker greenback. The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.2%. The German Dax index fell by 0.7%. But the UK FTSE index lifted 0.1%. In London trade, shares in Rio Tinto rose by 2.9% with BHP up by 1.9%.

Hello World!

Major currencies were mixed against the US dollar in European and US trade. The Euro rose from lows near US$1.1815 to highs near US$1.1870 and was near US$1.1875 at the US close. The Aussie dollar generally held between US72.40 cents and US72.85 cents at ended US trade near US72.55 cents. And the Japanese yen held between 103.17 yen per US dollar and JPY103.64 and was near JPY103.30 at the US close.

Global oil prices fell on Friday by around 4% as rising global coronavirus cases raised fears about oil demand. Expectations of a smaller US stimulus package also weighed on investor sentiment. Brent crude fell by US$1.48 or 3.6% to US$39.45 a barrel. And the US Nymex price lost US$1.65 or 4.3% to US$37.14 a barrel. Over the week, Brent rose by 5.3% with Nymex up 3.8%.

Base metal prices were mostly higher on Friday on the London Metals Exchange with copper up 1.3%. But nickel lost 1.3% and lead lost 0.5%. For the week, metals rose 1.0-4.4% with lead up the least and zinc up the most.

The gold futures price rose by US$4.90 or 0.3% to US$1,951.70 an ounce. Spot gold was trading near US$1,952 an ounce at the US close. Over the week, gold rose by US$71.80 or 3.8%. Iron ore rose by US65 cents or 0.6% to US$118.10 a tonne. For the week, iron ore rose by US15 cents or 0.1%.

G’day Australia

China international trade data is due today. In Australia on Monday, the CommSec home size report is issued with RBA card spending data. US consumer inflation expectations data is released.

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