Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.7% to 7,442.00
  • Dow Average down 0.8% to 34,641.18
  • Aussie up 0.5% to 0.7580 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield rose 15.8bps to 2.5544%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 10bps to 2.48%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 2bps to 2.86%
  • Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,923.07
  • Brent futures down 1.9% to $105.52/bbl

Economic Events

  • 11am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$500 Million 2.5% 2030 Bonds
  • 7:30pm: (AU) RBA’s Bullock-Kent Testimony

Asia’s stocks and bonds looked set to come under pressure Wednesday, as investors digested the prospect of a swift reduction in the Federal Reserve’s debt holdings, part of stepped up monetary tightening to fight high inflation.

Equity futures for Japan and Australia pointed lower after technology stocks led a selloff in U.S. shares. Treasuries slumped after Fed Governor Lael Brainard called the task of curbing inflation pressures “paramount” and said the central bank may start reducing its balance sheet rapidly as soon as next month. Markets in Hong Kong and China will reopen after a holiday. U.S. equity futures were little changed in early trading.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose 15 basis points to 2.55%, the highest since 2019. The dollar hit a three-week peak. Markets also face ructions from deeper tension over Russia’s war in Ukraine. The U.S. and allies are coordinating fresh sanctions on Russia, including a U.S. ban on investment in the country and a European Union ban on coal imports.

Crude oil dipped amid the stronger dollar, but worries remain that Russia’s growing isolation will lead to more disruption to flows of key commodities.

Other News

When the readers of Rolling Stone were asked to pick the worst song of the Nineties back in 2011, they didn’t go with “Macarena,” “Achy Breaky Heart,” “MMMBop,” “Mmm Mmm Mmm,” “Nookie,” or even “I’m Too Sexy.” The proud honor went to “Barbie Girl.” And even if you’ve never heard of the Danish-Norwegian Europop group Aqua, you’ve definitely heard their song that proudly declares, “Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.” “Barbie Girl” was inescapable when it arrived 25 years ago, and it’s never truly gone away. This past February, the video racked up its billionth view on YouTube, landing it an elite club alongside Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain.”

To celebrate a quarter century of “Barbie Girl,” we spoke with Aqua members René Dif, Lene Nystrøm, and Søren Rasted about the formation of the group, the creation of “Barbie Girl,” the iconic music video, the song’s global explosion, the lawsuit from Mattel that followed, and their life in the aftermath. We also interviewed “Barbie Girl” video director Peder Pedersen; actor Mads Tagel, who played Ken in the video; and attorney Russell J. Frackman, who represented their label in the lawsuit. (Former Aqua member Claus Norreen didn’t respond to our request for an interview.)

Along the way, we listened to “Barbie Girl” more times than we can count. And we must say that our 2011 readers were incorrect. The song is a pop masterpiece and we hope people are still celebrating it when its 100th anniversary comes around in 2097.

(Rolling Stone)