- ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.3% to 7,335.00
- Dow Average up 0.7% to 35,061.55
- Aussie down 0.2% to 0.7367 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 1.2763%
- Australia 3-year bond yield rose 1bp to 0.26%
- Australia 10-year bond yield rose 0.5bps to 1.20%
- Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,802.15
- Brent futures up 0.4% to $74.10/bbl
- 11am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$800 Million 1% 2031 Bonds
Stocks are set for a mixed start Monday as traders weigh a U.S. rally spurred by corporate earnings, China’s technology-sector crackdown and an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting. The dollar was steady.
Equity futures rose in Japan and Australia but slid in Hong Kong, where an index offering exposure to China’s internet giants is now the world’s worst-performing major tech gauge. Beijing’s latest tightening is a reform of its $100 billion education tech sector, undermining one of China’s hottest investment plays in recent years.
U.S. stocks closed Friday at a record and the S&P 500 has almost doubled from the depths of the pandemic. About 87% of the S&P 500 firms reporting results so far this season have beaten estimates. U.S. equity contracts fluctuated.
Treasuries were little changed Friday but traders are braced for possible turbulence as Fed officials resume talks at this week’s two-day policy meeting on when and how to taper stimulus. Treasury market volatility has jumped on economic risks from the spread of the contagious delta variant of Covid-19.
South Korea’s Covid-19 infections are rising fast, so health officials have demanded an immediate slowdown. Not of the virus. Of treadmills and gym music.
As required by new government rules, Lee Seong-min has reprogrammed his Seoul fitness center’s 18 treadmills. They can go no faster than 3.7 miles an hour, a brisk walking pace for many.
The venue’s piped-in music, typically a collection of energized K-pop, can’t exceed 120 beats per minute. He switched the playlist to old-school ballads.
“Most people listen to their own music anyway,” said Mr. Lee, one of the gym’s trainers.
Up-tempo tunes and jogging might create excessive air droplets that could spread the virus, officials argue, worsening a coronavirus outbreak that is South Korea’s biggest ever. It has prompted an unusually detailed prescription for what is pandemic-friendly and what is not, collected in a 53-page rulebook and baffling to some.
Public protests involving more than one person are out. But a midday golf foursome is OK. Spectators can enjoy a Mozart concerto indoors, but can’t watch a baseball game outside. Friends can shop together at department stores, but only relatives can attend a wedding. Daytime is treated differently than nighttime.
The complex new restrictions took effect July 12 in Seoul, and more recently in the city of Gangneung, set to last through this Sunday but possibly longer. They are a reaction to infections that recently hit 1,600 new cases a day, triple the level just weeks ago.