Australian Employment Data Out Today

Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones were down almost 0.6% last night although GE shares managed to bounce after initially opening lower and ultimately closed 2% higher. The US released its consumer price inflation data last night which came out on expectations while retail sales data was mixed. Core retail sales (which excludes automobiles) was lower than expected with 0.1% month over month growth while the headline figure was 0.2%, better than the 0% expected. US bond prices have climbed over the last couple of weeks, sending yields lower. These falls have come despite market pricing suggesting an almost 100% probability of a rate hike in December and perhaps reflect bond market scepticism on further rate hikes in 2018.   

Oil prices have now firmly broken their up-trend, falling a further 0.75% over the last 24 hours. Although US inventories showed an increase in both crude and gasoline stockpiles last week, the price didn’t fall further than it already had and it managed to bounce off US$55 per barrel three times during the session. WTI oil is currently at US$55.27 per barrel.

Today Australia releases its October employment data with consensus expectations for 17,800 new jobs created. The unemployment rate is expected to remain steady at 5.5%. The Aussie dollar has been weak recently and a miss on this data could further exacerbate that weakness. The AUD has just fallen below US$0.76, a four-month low. Base metals prices fell further early in the session but bounced into the close although iron ore still closed down by around 2.1%.     

Data Releases:

–    Australia Employment Data 11:30am AEDT

–    UK Retail Sales 8:30pm AEDT

–    US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index 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.