Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.3% to 7,298.00
  • Dow Average down 0.5% to 32,688.83
  • Aussie little changed at 0.6589 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 3.9755%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 9.2 bps to 3.47%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 5.9 bps to 3.74%
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,816.28
  • Brent futures down 1.0% to $82.49/bbl

Economic Events

  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 77-Day Bills
  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 133-Day Bills
  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 182-Day Bills

Wall Street didn’t get much relief from Jerome Powell’s testimony to lawmakers — especially after another round of jobs figures came on the hot side, bolstering bets the Federal Reserve will have no alternative but remain hawkish in the months to come.

Equities struggled to gain traction even with the Fed chief’s reassurance that no decision has been made on the pace of tightening and the central bank isn’t seeking to cause a recession. For one, Powell reiterated that an acceleration in the pace of hikes is still on the table as rates may hit a higher peak than previously expected amid signs of a stronger economy.

Then, there’s all the anxiety building in the run-up of the next key economic readings.

Policymakers will scrutinize Friday’s jobs report for three key indicators: payrolls, wage gains and the unemployment rate. If they all point to a robust labor market — perhaps even just slightly stronger than forecast — that will be a green light to a bigger hike, likely reducing suspense in the inflation reports due next week.

The bond market also saw a few twists and turns Wednesday as traders are doubling down on the prospect of a US recession, with swap traders pricing in a full percentage point of Fed hikes over the next four meetings. The spread between two- and 10-year rates this week showed a discount larger than a percentage point for the first time since 1981.

Other News

Heinz’s search for the man who survived nearly a month at sea by eating nothing but ketchup and seasonings is over.

The ketchup maker announced Monday it located Elvis Francois in his native Dominica after sharing its mission to buy him a new boat on social media and asking for help to #FindTheKetchupBoatGuy.

“We received thousands of likes, shares, and messages of kindness in our search to find Elvis Francois,” Heinz said in an Instagram post. “It was an incredible group effort across six continents that led to the hundreds of articles and leads and our eventual contact with Elvis.”

Heinz thanked local reporters at the Dominican news outlet EmoNews for finally connecting it with Francois. The company said it’s “working out the logistical details of gifting him his new boat.”

EmoNews confirmed in a Facebook post that Heinz representatives met with Francois via Zoom on Friday.

The company said its Instagram post reached 4.8 million people and garnered more than 4,000 likes – a record for the brand.

“Anyone who shared, liked or commented on the brand’s post helped broaden the reach and played an important part in finding Elvis… and Heinz wants to thank everyone who helped,” Heinz said in an email.

(USA Today)