Overnight market action continued the recent pro-growth tilt. Agreement between China and the US on a path for trade negotiations is an important driver. Shares climbed, base metals rose and crude oil jumped on surprising US inventory data. Bonds and gold marked time, but cryptocurrencies fell. Meanwhile, Brexit rolls on.
Both Bitcoin and CMC’s All Crypto index touched key support levels in overnight trading. Bitcoin shed more than $600, falling from above $8,000 to bounce of crucial support around $7,400, the six-month low. The index held the 2,350 level after a similar plunge. The growing attraction of cryptos as alternative safe haven assets cuts both ways, and the drop may be attributed to increasing economic confidence.
Weekly energy inventory data shocked oil traders. Forecasts centred on a crude oil increase of around 3 million barrels. The actual 1.7 million reduction sparked buying that accelerated in response to significant drawdowns in gasoline and distillates. West Texas and Brent crudes recorded 2.5% gains.
The British pound is a focus for forex traders. A Brexit timetable is the current sticking point. Sterling slipped below US $1.29 before bouncing, with markets balancing parliamentary vacillations against a sense of the inevitable.
The US corporate reporting season approached the one-third mark as 42 top 500 companies released results. Overall earnings are running about 4% ahead of forecasts, lifting the S&P 500 index over the 3,000 mark to close within 1% of the all-time high. Asia Pacific stock futures indicate a positive opening this morning. Strength in commodity prices could see the Australian market reverse yesterday’s underperformance to lead the way.
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