Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 7,191.00
  • Dow Average down 1.5% to 34,823.12
  • Aussie down 0.2% to 0.7113 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield rose 1.5bps to 1.4174%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 4bps to 0.93%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 5bps to 1.54%
  • Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,790.98
  • Brent futures down 2.2% to $71.89/bbl

Economic Events

  • 9:30am: (AU) Dec. ANZ Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer, prior 108.0
  • 11:30am: (AU) RBA Minutes of Dec. Policy Meeting

Investor sentiment sagged as concern about President Joe Biden’s economic agenda and the omicron coronavirus surge dragged down stocks. Traders said lower volume ahead of the holidays exacerbated market moves.
The S&P 500 had its biggest three-day drop since September, led by losses in financial and material shares. Bonds fell. The dollar was little changed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists cut their U.S. growth forecasts after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin blindsided the White House by rejecting Biden’s roughly $2 trillion tax-and-spending package.

Other News

The X-Files are moving out of the basement.

A provision buried deep in the $770 billion annual defense bill that the US Senate passed on Wednesday calls for the creation of a new agency to investigate reports of UFO sightings.

Under Section 1683 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines have to establish an “office, organizational structure, and authorities to address unidentified aerial phenomena” within 180 days of when President Biden signs the bill into law.

Among its duties, the new agency will “evaluate links between unidentified aerial phenomena and adversarial foreign governments, other foreign governments, or nonstate actors” and “the threat that such incidents present to the United States.”

It will also have to submit annual reports to “the appropriate congressional committees” and give the committees classified briefings twice a year.

In June, a government report on UFO sightings said there was no “single explanation” for 140 incidents reported by military personnel since 2004 but deemed them a threat to flight safety and a potential threat to national security.

Last month, the Pentagon quietly announced it had formed the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to oversee UFO investigations, which critics attacked as an attempt to limit transparency on the subject.