Shares tumbled in overnight trading after record breaking gains in November. Whether the falls were simply profit taking on month end, or the start of a global down leg, will become apparent in Asia Pacific trading today. Oil markets fell as OPEC+ extended its meeting, and cryptocurrencies are in the spotlight after Bitcoin approached US $20,000.
European indices were hit hard, with falls of around 1.5% for major markets. Increased volumes point to institutional profit taking after a strong month. This may mean the pressure on Asia Pacific shares eases today, despite significantly lower futures.
A rising US dollar weighed on commodity prices, and gold continued to slide below $1,800. The OPEC+ group is reportedly a long way from agreement at its meeting. Some members are seeking a lift in production, as previously scheduled, but it appears the group is heading towards an extension of cuts for another month or more. Crude oil prices may rise if this path is confirmed.
Bitcoin rose to within a whisker of its all-time high overnight. Curiously, other major cryptos are nowhere near the mark, and there is potential for further volatility based on a rotation between tokens.
Australian investors are looking at a busy day. Building approvals and export data may drive the Australian dollar and shares and sectors this morning, ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting this afternoon. While no change in interest rates is expected, traders will zero in on the RBA’s take on the Australian dollar’s rise to 30 month highs.