- ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.2% to 7,259.00
- Dow Average up 0.3% to 34,681.79
- Aussie down 0.2% to 0.7483 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield fell 2.9bps to 1.3196%
- Australia 3-year bond yield fell 6bps to 0.39%
- Australia 10-year bond yield fell 8bps to 1.39%
- Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,803.45
- Brent futures down 1.5% to $73.39/bbl
- 10:30am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1.5 Billion 77-Day Bills
- 10:30am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$500 Million 140-Day Bills
- 12:30pm: (AU) RBA’s Lowe Speech at Online Webinar
Asian stocks are set for a steady open Thursday after U.S. shares hit a record and bonds rose as Federal Reserve minutes showed a continuing debate on a timeline for tapering asset purchases amid elevated uncertainty.
Futures were little changed in Japan and Hong Kong and edged higher in Australia. U.S. contracts were stable after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each closed at all-time highs. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields fell for a second day, dropping briefly below 1.3% for the first time since February, as expectations for an inflationary economic recovery continued to fade.
Organisers pushed ahead with a Mexican beauty pageant in spite of a Covid-19 outbreak that infected almost half the contestants, it has emerged.
At least 15 of the 32 contestants in the Miss Mexico 2021 pageant tested positive for coronavirus. A pageant staff member also tested positive, according to the Chihuahua state health secretariat.
“Even though many [of the contestants] were coughing, had body aches and even a temperature, they asked them not to complain,” a source from the pageant told the newspaper Reforma.
Prior to the pageant the contestants travelled to a school run in the scenic but impoverished Copper Canyon run by nuns for indigenous Tarahumara children, where they delivered school supplies and posed for selfies with the students. The source told Reforma that “a minimum 10 [contestants] had symptoms” on that trip.
Organisers in the northern city of Chihuahua proceeded with the pageant on 1 July – two days ahead of schedule. It is unknown why the date was changed and organisers have not commented.
Health officials in Chihuahua state accused the organisers of being uncooperative and attempting to cover up the rash of Covid cases. The state health secretariat said in a statement it was tipped off on the outbreak by an anonymous call.
“The state health secretariat regrets the lack of honesty and transparency from the organising committee,” the statement said.
The pageant outbreak comes as Covid cases surge in a country that has taken a somewhat less-strict approach to lockdowns, closing borders and mandating mask use while performing little testing.