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Q3 GDP came in at a whopping 5%, revised from a previous estimate of 3.9% and much better than an expected 4.3%. This was the biggest gain since 2003 and this was enough to keep investors encouraged. Equities extended gains on the news with the S&P and Dow at fresh record highs. The S&P hit 2087 and the Dow topped 18,000. The GDP reading also underpinned the greenback as it rallied against the aussie, euro, yen and sterling. The highlight from Europe was failure by Greece to elect the nominated president on the second attempt. This leaves markets with just one opportunity to secure a vote, failure of which will lead to early elections next year. As a result, a failed vote next week will lead to some positioning with risk concerns likely to ramp up. It’ll also be interesting to see what this means for the euro. Also in Europe, S&P said it might cut Russia’s rating to junk, this would have some implications on the country’s banks.
Greenback rallies against majors
EUR/USD broke below $1.2200 and GBP/USD traded below $1.5500. Meanwhile USD/JPY drifted higher and is within striking distance of the 121.00 level with Japan set to return to trade today. We are calling the Nikkei up 1.3% at 17865 and given there is plenty of activity in japan over the next couple of days, it is the one market where volatility is still highly likely.
AUD/USD finally broke below $0.8100 after a number of failed attempts. While bears and the RBA will be cheering the move, those on overseas holidays won’t be too impressed. The pair traded as low as 0.8088, its lowest since May 2010. At the time, the pair traded as low as 0.8066 and perhaps we’ll find some support in that region.
Short trading session for ASX 200
Ahead of the open we are calling the ASX 200 up 0.4% at 5413. This sees us up around 1.4% from Christmas Eve last year. It is a shortened trading session for the local market with trading halting at 1430 today. Activity is likely to be limited as we head to the Christmas break and therefore I don’t expect too much from the market today after yesterday’s move. There is no local data at all and a lot will depend on what happens with China after it dropped 3% yesterday. Spiking interbank rates will remain a problem and this, coupled with choppy trading in the commodities space, could see early gains diminish through trade.