Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures up 1.0% to 7,120.00
  • Dow Average up 2.1% to 33,630.61
  • Aussie up 1.9% to 0.6880 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 16.0bps to 3.5580%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 2 bps to 3.48%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 1.7 bps to 3.82%
  • Gold spot up 1.8% to $1,865.69
  • Brent futures down 0.2% to $78.57/bbl

Economic Events

  • 11:30: (AU) Nov. Building Approvals MoM, est. 0%, prior -6.0%
  • 11:30: (AU) Nov. Private Sector Houses MoM, est. -1.0%, prior -2.2%
  • 16:30: (AU) Dec. Foreign Reserves, prior A$86.8b

Asian stocks are set to climb in early trading after US equities had their best day in more than a month on Friday as traders speculate that an unexpected contraction in services activity and a slowdown in wage growth will temper the Federal Reserve’s rate hike aggression.

Australian stock futures rose about 1% Friday while contracts for Hong Kong equities climbed 1.5%. Japanese markets are closed Monday for a public holiday. The S&P 500 jumped more than 2% Friday to salvage the first weekly advance in the past five. Treasuries rallied and the dollar dropped after the Institute for Supply Management’s index of services fell by the most since April 2020 to contractionary territory and cooler wage growth fueled expectations the Fed will slow its pace of rate hikes.

The December inflation report due Thursday will be front of mind for traders after the jobs data failed to offer a clear picture of the state of the American labor market, with unemployment at its lowest level in decades, while wage gains were weak. Kansas City Fed’s Esther George, on Friday, warned that officials will have a tough road ahead as they attempt to balance inflation and employment while others have previously emphasized rates will be higher, and held there for longer than earlier anticipated.

Swaps contracts show investors now expect the policy rate to peak at under 5% this cycle, down from 5.06% just before Friday’s jobs report. While traders remain divided about the size of February’s hike, with 32 basis points of tightening priced in, it appears that a quarter-point move is seen as more likely than a half-point increase.

Other News

Being a cat lady can pay off… literally.

Taylor Swift’s beloved glamourpuss, a Scottish fold named Olivia Benson, is the third-richest pet in the world, according to a new report from All About Cats. The fat cat has clawed together a pawsitively impressive estimated net worth of $97 million.

Feline fine at No. 2, with an estimated $100 million, is social media influencer @Nala_cat, a Siamese and tabby mix. German Shepherd Gunther VI, owned by the Italian media company Gunther Corporation, nabbed the prize for richest pet in the world with a jaw-dropping $500 million.

The list was made using Instagram analytics and the pet’s potential payday per social media post. In 2020, Swift posted a pic of Olivia sprawled out on a couch, which garnered more than 2 million likes on her Instagram page.

The Post reached out to Swift’s rep for comment.

The “Midnights” album star has not been shy about showing just how much she loves her cat, who is named after actress Mariska Hargitay’s popular “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” character. Her fluffy feline has appeared in her “Blank Space” and “Me!” music videos, as well as in various commercials, including one for Diet Coke in 2014.

“Before I got the second cat, I was kind of canvassing everyone I knew, saying, ‘Is cats, cat lady?’” Swift said during a 2014 interview on “Live With Kelly and Michael” in which she emphasized the plural of “cat.”

“Two cats is cats, and there’s more than one. And they’re like, ‘No, three cats is a cat lady, two cats is a party.’”

Coming in behind Benson on the richest pet list were Oprah Winfrey‘s dogs Sadie, Sunny, Lauren, Layla and Luke at $30 million; Pomeranian Jiffpom at $25 million; the late Karl Lagerfeld’s cat. Choupette, at $13 million; and the late actress Betty White’s dog, Pontiac, at $5 million.

Tied at $1.5 million each were Instagram-famous dogs Doug The Pug, Tucker and Marutaro.

Swift owns another cat, Benjamin Button, named for Brad Pitt’s character in the 2008 movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Button is a ragdoll cat. He didn’t make the cut.

(New York Post)