- ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.2% to 7,441.00
- Dow Average up 0.7% to 35,455.80
- Aussie up 1.0% to 0.7306 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield fell 4.2bps to 1.3070%
- Australia 3-year bond yield rose 1bp to 0.27%
- Australia 10-year bond yield rose 0.2bps to 1.19%
- Gold spot up 1.4% to $1,817.57
- Brent futures up 2.3% to $72.70/bbl
- 11:30am: (AU) 2Q Company Operating Profit QoQ, est. 2.5%, prior -0.3%
- 11:30am: (AU) 2Q Inventories SA QoQ, est. 1.2%, prior 2.1%
Stocks are set to climb Monday after U.S. equities rallied to a record and Treasuries advanced on Jerome Powell’s signal of a cautious and gradual withdrawal of pandemic-era Federal Reserve economic support.
Equity futures for Japan, Australia and Hong Kong rose. The S&P 500 hit a new peak Friday following Chair Powell’s Jackson Hole speech, in which he said the Fed may start paring bond purchases this year, but is in no hurry to raise interest rates and would be guided by data to weigh risks from the delta virus variant. Powell didn’t give a specific timeline for scaling back stimulus.
Traders are awaiting U.S. jobs data this week to see if they flag a recovery strong enough for an earlier tapering. That could extend the first weekly steepening of the Treasury yield curve since July. Commodity markets are focused on Hurricane Ida. The storm, which barreled into the Louisiana coast Sunday, threatens oil, natural gas and fuel supplies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico explorers and Louisiana refineries have shut production.
No more seeing pink elephants for Sri Lanka’s mahouts. The South Asian country is upgrading animal protections to include a ban on drunk driving by elephant riders. “The person who owns or has the custody of such elephants shall ensure that the mahout is not consuming any liquor or any harmful drug while employed,” Wildlife Protection Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake said on Thursday, referring to the nation’s industry of elephant riders, Agence France-Presse reported. The new laws will also ensure the heavily poached pachyderms are better cared for by their keepers, as new photo and DNA identity cards will be registered to every domesticated elephant, which also will receive medical check-ups every six months. Elephants are prized by the wealthy in the country and reviled by many in rural areas who come into conflict with the powerful creature. There are about 200 domesticated elephants in the country, as well as an estimated 7,500 roaming the wild. Under the new legislation, elephant workdays will be capped at four hours per day, while night work is now prohibited. Aimed especially at tourist attractions, the wildlife protection ministry of Sri Lanka has said that no more than four people can ride the elephant at once and they must be seated on a padded saddle — for the elephant’s comfort. The animals will also no longer be used in film or media, except by state productions and under the supervision of veterinarians. Meanwhile, baby elephants will no longer be allowed for work of any kind, including cultural events and holidays, and they cannot be separated from their mother for any reason other than medical necessity. Violators could face up to three years in prison and have their elephants seized by the government. More than 40 baby elephants were stolen from the tropical island nation’s national parks during the past 15 years, according to Agence France-Presse. Capturing or killing wild elephants is an offense punishable by death in Sri Lanka, although it rarely happens. In 2019, the country counted 361 deaths among elephants, according to a BBC report last year, 85% of which can be attributed to human activity.