Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.5% to 7,397.00
  • Dow Average up 0.3% to 36,160.20
  • Aussie up 0.3% to 0.7454 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield rose 2.6bps to 1.5752%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 3bps to 0.92%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 4bps to 1.85%
  • Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,773.55
  • Brent futures down 4.2% to $81.17/bbl

Economic Events

  • 10:30am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 168-Day Bills
  • 10:30am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 112-Day Bills
  • 11:30am: (AU) 3Q Retail Sales Ex Inflation QoQ, est. -5.0%, prior 0.8%
  • 11:30am: (AU) Sept. Exports MoM, est. -2%, prior 4%
  • 11:30am: (AU) Sept. Imports MoM, est. 1%, prior -1%
  • 11:30am: (AU) Sept. International Trade Balance, est. A$12.4b, prior A$15.1b

In a feat not seen since January 2018, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq 100 and the Russell 2000 closed at their all-time highs for a second straight day. The Treasury curve steepened after Fed Chair Jerome Powell sought to stress that tapering doesn’t mean rate hikes are coming soon. He said officials can be patient on tightening, but won’t flinch from action if warranted by inflation. The dollar fell. Traders largely maintained bets on the timing of rate increases from the level they were at before the Fed decision. Money-market derivatives show about 55 basis points of rate hikes by the end of 2022. The first one is seen coming around July, with about a 70% chance it happens the month before, overnight index swaps show.

Other News

Travel-starved, sleep-deprived residents might find a new Hong Kong bus tour to be a snooze. The 47 mile, five hour ride on a regular double-decker bus around the territory is meant to appeal to people who are easily lulled asleep by long rides. It was inspired by the tendency of tired commuters to fall asleep on public transit. “When we were brainstorming new tours, I saw a social media post from my friend saying that he was stressed out by his work, he couldn’t sleep at night,” said Kenneth Kong, the marketing and business development manager of ulu travel, the organizer of the bus tours. “But when he was traveling on the bus, he was able to sleep well. His post inspired us to create this tour that lets passengers just sleep on the bus.”

Tickets cost between $13 to $51 per person, depending on whether they choose seats on the upper or lower deck. A goodie bag for passengers includes an eye-mask and ear plugs for better sleep. The first “Sleeping Bus Tour” last Saturday sold out entirely. Some passengers came prepared, bringing their own blankets and changing their shoes to slippers, while others brought travel pillows.

“I have been suffering from insomnia so I am here to try and get some sleep,” said 25-year-old Anson Kong, one of the passengers on the first bus tour. He said that the tour was a good idea and “more interesting” than he expected.

On Saturday’s tour, the bus stopped so passengers could take photos at scenic spots on the city’s Lantau Island. One stop was the aircraft maintenance area near Hong Kong’s airport, where passengers can snag selfies with aircraft in the background.

Another passenger, Marco Yung, said that he joined the tour because he usually falls asleep on long-distance bus journeys, saying it was a “great opportunity” to get some sleep. The tendency to fall sleep on public transport is a type of conditioning, according to Dr. Shirley Li, the principal investigator of the Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory at the University of Hong Kong.

“People in Hong Kong don’t have enough time to sleep,” Li said. “That’s why we have to kind of use other times to sleep, which is our daily commute, especially when we are travelling on public transport.”

“For some people, they may tend to associate public transport with their sleep. And that’s why they found it easier to fall asleep on the bus,” she said.”