Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.2% to 7,320.00
  • Dow Average up 0.3% to 34,302.61
  • Aussie down 0.2% to 0.6954 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 3.5035%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 0.2 bps to 3.22%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 0.3 bps to 3.59%
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,916.02
  • Brent futures down 1.3% to $84.20/bbl

Economic Events

  • 10:30: (AU) Jan. Westpac Consumer Conf SA MoM, prior 3.0%
  • 10:30: (AU) Jan. Westpac Consumer Conf Index, prior 80.3

A gauge of global equities stalled after its best start to a year in a generation as investors assessed whether the rally has gone too far given the outlook for inflation, growth and earnings. European stocks rose.

The MSCI ACWI Index was little changed after posting the biggest advance for the first two weeks in data going back to 1988. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes fell at least 0.2% each. The dollar snapped a three-day losing streak. US spot markets were closed for a holiday. European stocks were boosted by gains in real estate companies.

While inflation in the US appears to have peaked, aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve and other central banks risks pushing the global economy into a recession that could hurt corporate profits. The World Bank last week added to the gloomy outlook, warning of “one of the sharpest slowdowns we have seen in the past five decades.”

Other News

The rampant spread of conspiracy theories on Twitter has pushed Finland’s top health authority to stop using the platform to disseminate its public-health messages.

A lack of proper tools on the social media site means the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is unable to effectively weed out false and deliberately misleading information, as well as inappropriate comments, from replies to its posts, according to spokeswoman Marjo Loisa. It’s taken the decision to stop sharing to its almost 100,000 followers, freeing up resources from content moderation.

“Our tweets and their comments are used as a platform for spreading disinformation and Twitter doesn’t provide proper tools to block this,” Loisa said in an emailed response to questions. “This has grown to be a major problem during the pandemic.”

The authority also raised concerns over fake accounts on Twitter after Elon Musk began scaling back content moderation and other safeguards since acquiring the company late last year. Musk has sought to reassure concerned European Union officials that he’ll follow tough standards around hate speech and disinformation laid down in the bloc’s new Digital Services Act.

The problems with disinformation are not equally evident on other social media sites, such as Meta Platforms Inc.’s Instagram and Microsoft Corporation’s LinkedIn, where interaction continues to be “constructive and meaningful,” Loisa said.