Equities lower, precious metals and oil higher, big day for Aussie dollar, ASX futures 31 points lower

Durable goods orders in the US came in quite a bit lower than expected, while US consumer confidence beat expectations with an important 102.9 figure versus the 95.5 expected and 93.1 previous - but investors chose to sell shares in the US and Europe last night. For some perspective on how markets are tracking I have illustrated the performance of Australia's ASX 200, the US S&P 500 and German Dax on the first chart, showing how they have behaved since bottoming in October 2014, in percentage terms. This very clearly shows that European investors have bought heavily into the ECB announcement, with the Dax representing the confidence and risk-taking on the basis that the European Central Bank will support capital markets there. The ASX 200 has not gotten ahead of itself and is very much range-bound, while the S&P is performing in a similar sideways manner.

Aussie dollar traders will get some clarity today on what data will be feeding the minds at the Reserve Bank of Australia when they meet next Tuesday. Australian CPI figures will be released at 11:30am and the market is expecting an annualised figure of 1.8% for the forth quarter of 2014. A figure below this will give the Bank confidence to cut rates if it chooses to, and will likely encourage traders to sell the AUDUSD currency pair. You can see from today's second chart that there is little relevant historical support for the AUDUSD right now - we've broken well below the 2010 lows, which leaves the post-GFC recovery in place and this means that it's anyone's guess as to where the AUDUSD will settle. The RBA certainly doesn't have an issue with it trading lower than where it is now - but let's watch for that CPI figure at 11:30am Sydney time. If CPI surprises and comes in higher than expected, the sell-off will likely be halted. We will also get some clarity at 6am tomorrow, Sydney time, with regard to what the US Federal Reserve is thinking, with its rate decision and associated statement being released.

Despite some large Dow Jones Industrial Average names releasing some ordinary earnings figures last night, Apple (AAPL) came out after the market closed and beat estimates. Apple sold around 10 million more iPhones during the fourth quarter of 2014 than analysts had been expecting and has forecast continued momentum going into 2015. It seems as though CEO Tim Cook's decision to compete with larger Android phones in Asia is paying off, with a 70% increase in Chinese sales revenue. Given AAPL's size, this may well lift US equity futures and, as a result, brighten up an otherwise ordinary lead for Asian investors this morning.

Today’s charts are taken from the Rivkin Trader platform. 30,000 global instruments available to trade including FX, commodities, index, ETFs and international shares. Trade Australian share CFDs from just $8 or 0.10%. Click here or phone 1300 748 546 to get your free $100,000 demo account.

Upcoming economic announcements: Australian CPI out at 11:30am, US Fed rate decision out at 6am tomorrow followed by the RBNZ rate decision at 7am, all Sydney time.

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