Australia Trade Balance Barely In Surplus

Without a doubt, the biggest moving instrument last night was bitcoin which surged from US$13,700 to a high of $16,600 (depending on which exchange you look at). Bitcoin exchanges were struggling to stay online as record high traffic to their websites tested their systems. The CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) will be launching a bitcoin futures contract in the near future that will increase the ability of traders to speculate on the crypto-currency.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 both closed up around 0.4%. The Nasdaq 100 also closed up as Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL) and Tesla (TSLA) all had positive closes. The ASX 200 was up over 0.5% yesterday and is once again closing in on 6,000. So far, the index has failed to hold above this level for more than a few days but the positive leads from the US overnight should help it get back there. ASX 200 futures are currently up 23 points. 

Yesterday Australia’s trade balance data was released which came out substantially worse than expected. Although there was a narrow surplus, exports fell 3% compared to the prior month and imports increased 2%. Both coal and iron ore exports, which had been driving comfortable surpluses this year, were down for the month. The increase in imports was led by increased consumption goods with prices paid increasing due to the weaker Australian dollar and fuel imports contributing to the increase. Despite recent falls, some economists think the dollar is still overvalued; the AUD is currently trading at US$0.751.     

Data Releases:

–    China Trade Balance 12:00pm AEDT

–    US Employment Data 12:30am AEDT 

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This article was written by William O’Loughlin – Investment Analyst, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via william.oloughlin@rivkin.com.au or by phoning +612 8302 3633.