Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.3% to 6,523.00
  • Dow Average down 0.5% to 31,173.84
  • Aussie down 1.8% to 0.6734 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 8.8bps to 2.9928%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 1bp to 2.97%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 3bps to 3.51%
  • Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,733.88
  • Brent futures down 0.6% to $106.41/bbl

Economic Events

  • 9am: (AU) June CBA Household Spending YoY, prior 7.9%
  • 9am: (AU) June CBA Household Spending MoM, prior 2.9%
  • 10:30am: (AU) July Westpac Consumer Conf Index, prior 86.4
  • 10:30am: (AU) July Westpac Consumer Conf SA MoM, prior -4.5%
  • 11:30am: (AU) June NAB Business Conditions, prior 16
  • 11:30am: (AU) June NAB Business Confidence, prior 6

Stocks in Asia look set for a choppy start Tuesday amid trepidation that the upcoming earnings season, a looming US inflation print and China’s struggle with Covid will all stoke worries about economic prospects.

Futures fell for Japan and edged up for Australia, while Hong Kong’s were in the red following the worst drop in US-traded Chinese shares since May. US contracts fluctuated after technology shares led a Wall Street slide, including a plunge in Twitter Inc. as Elon Musk walked away from his deal to buy the firm.

The dollar’s biggest jump in a month toward levels last seen at the height of the market panic over Covid underlined the caution in global markets.

Treasuries rallied on Monday, extending this year’s volatility in the bond market and taking the US 10-year yield below 3%. Commodities including oilare under pressure.

Other News

A plan to use oral contraceptives to control grey squirrel populations in the UK is making good progress and could soon be put to the test in field trials, say government scientists.

The mass birth control plan involves luring grey squirrels into feeding boxes only they can access, using pots containing hazelnut spread. These will be spiked with contraceptives.

The project could help eradicate the grey squirrel in the UK without killing them, says environment minister Lord Benyon.

It should reduce the “untold damage” grey squirrels do to woodland ecosystems and native red squirrel populations, he says.

The government scientists leading the research say the contraceptive, which makes both male and female grey squirrels infertile, should be ready to deploy in the wild within two years.

Grey squirrels, first introduced from North America in the late 19th century, damage UK woodlands by stripping bark from trees to get at the nutritious sap beneath.

The species has flourished in the UK. There are now reckoned to be 2.7 million grey squirrels here.

The animals target young trees, typically 10-50 years old, and favour broadleaf species including oak, beech, sweet chestnut, and sycamore.

They can kill or maim trees, leaving scarring that allows an entry point for other tree pests and diseases which can stunt their growth.

The damage they can do threatens the effectiveness of government efforts to tackle climate change by planting tens of thousands of hectares of new woodlands, environment minister Lord Goldsmith has warned.

Grey squirrels have also driven the UK’s native red squirrel to the verge of extinction across much of the country.

There are thought to be just 160,000 red squirrels left in the UK, with only 15,000 remaining in England.

Grey squirrels are significantly larger and stronger than reds and carry a squirrel pox virus that is deadly to reds but to which they are immune.

The traditional way of managing the grey squirrel population is by culling them. But grey squirrels breed rapidly and populations can recover quickly. A century of culling programmes has failed to reduce the population.

(BBC News)