Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.2% to 7,024.00
  • Dow Average up 0.6% to 35,287.48
  • Aussie up 0.8% to 0.7129 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 1.9122%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 7bps to 1.47%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 4bps to 2.00%
  • Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,822.56
  • Brent futures down 0.5% to $92.77/bbl

Economic Events

  • 9:30am: (AU) Feb. ANZ Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer, prior 101.8
  • 11am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$150 Million 1.25% 2040 Bonds
  • 11:30am: (AU) Jan. NAB Business Conditions, prior 8
  • 11:30am: (AU) Jan. NAB Business Confidence, prior -12

Australia will allow international travelers to enter the country once again, ending around two years of some of the world’s toughest border controls that were introduced to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Tourists and visa holders that have been vaccinated at least twice will be allowed to enter the country from Feb. 21, the government announced Monday. Australia’s borders have been almost entirely closed since after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, with only citizens able to return.

The news will be welcomed by Australia’s tourism industry, which contributed around 3% to the economy prior to the pandemic. Shares in the national carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. closed 4.6% higher after Morrison’s announcement, while travel company Corporate Travel Management Ltd. rose 7%.

Other News

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he held his breath when he took off his mask to pose for a photo with NBA legend Magic Johnson at a football game Sunday, claiming there is ‘zero percent chance’ of COVID infection when doing this.

Garcetti responded Wednesday to criticism after photos posted to social media show the mayor maskless at the SoFi Stadium during the NFC Conference Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The LA mayor pushed back any suggestion that he endangered anyone by briefly slipping off his mask at the game, while, by his account, holding his breath.