Another Trade Surplus for Australia

The Dow Jones is now just 1% away from 23,000 after rising 0.5% overnight. The S&P500 was up a similar amount in a trading session that had a steady upward trend. The UK's FTSE100 has also been rising steadily over the last few weeks and is now almost back at a record high. The ASX 200, on the other hand, managed to eke out an unchanged close yesterday but is down 1.4% for the year. The US dollar index continued its relief rally almost reaching 94 and causing the AUDUSD to fall back to $0.78.

Australian retail sales data for the month of August was significantly weaker than expected at -0.6% and the prior month was revised down from flat to -0.2%. These declines wipe out a significant chunk of the gains made earlier in the year which doesn't bode well for the financial results of retailers. In contrast to retail sales, Australia's trade balance showed a stronger surplus than expected of almost $1bn and the prior month's surplus was revised substantially upwards. The strong number was largely due to increased iron ore exports, both in terms of price and volume, with demand from China increasing approximately 25%.

Tonight, US employment data is released which is expected to show weaker than normal jobs growth as a result of the hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida. The forecast is for just 82,000 new jobs to have been created which would be the lowest monthly job creation in well over a year. On the other hand, the other key piece of information the Federal Reserve looks at is the average hourly earnings which is expected to rise by 0.3%. This would be a relatively strong monthly increase.     


Data Releases:

–    US Non-Farm Employment Change 11:30pm AEDT

–    US Average Hourly Earnings 11:30pm AEDT

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This article was written by William O'Loughlin – Investment Analyst, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via or by phoning +612 8302 3633.