Global equities mostly higher on strong US GDP, oil prices continue to consolidate, US dollar stronger, ASX futures 29 points higher

This is the last Rivkin Morning Market Wrap for 2014, and we will return with coverage on Monday 5 January.

US third quarter, annualised GDP growth was released last night, and it was a cracker - 5.0% versus expectations of 4.3% and a previous print of 3.9%. While the effect of this release was felt somewhat in equity markets, its impact was most pronounced in the strength of the US dollar index, which now sits at at post-GFC highs of 90.36 and is putting some consistent downward pressure on other currencies. Today's first chart shows the strength of the US dollar index, with the third chart in today's series showing the 2014 year to date impact on the US dollar vs. Japanese yen (orange line), the Australian dollar versus the US dollar (blue line) and the euro versus the US dollar (black line). The EURUSD currency pair was the most prominent mover last night and for this economic region, it is more than welcome. We could be seeing the start of a build-up that will see the euro weaken further against the US dollar as European policy makers resume business in January and edge closer to stimulus action. FX traders will be looking for the continuation of this US dollar index trend, which would see the aforementioned currency pairs weaken further.

Today's second chart shows consolidation in the WTI crude oil price, which (while still seeing decent intra-day volatility - see the size of the daily candle sticks) is showing some signs of having exhausted its post June 2014 retreat. There is no doubt that the freeing up of discretionary household spends was linked to the strong GDP figure last night, and this is being helped along by the falls in gasoline prices and the knock-on effect that this is having via consumer confidence. So I definitely believe that the world is seeing some confirmation of the good that low oil prices are doing, despite those finite number of dependent exporting oil countries that are having their budgets invalidated by the huge falls in prices.

Naturally there is a danger in reading too much into this quarterly US GDP growth figure; however, if it proves to be a reliable indicator of things to come, the global economy might get a boost to current forecasts next year, which would in turn go some way to sparking some action in Europe and China.

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: Naturally today is a very quiet day for data with Australia's Conference Board Leading Index out at 10am and some jobs and oil inventories data out at 12:30am and 2:30am, all Sydney time. Japanese market remain open on Christmas day and they will release national CPI on 26 December at 10:30am.

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