Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 1.6% to 6,945.00
  • Dow Average down 1.0% to 31,829.19
  • Aussie down 1.0% to 0.6618 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 21.9bps to 3.4716%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 3.1 bps to 3.09%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 1.6 bps to 3.44%
  • Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,917.68
  • Brent futures down 4.0% to $74.39/bbl

Economic Events

  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 70-Day Bills
  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 126-Day Bills
  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$500 Million 175-Day Bills
  • 11:00: (AU) March Consumer Inflation Expectation, prior 5.1%
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Full Time Employment Change, prior -43,300
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Part Time Employment Change, prior 31,800
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Employment Change, est. 50,000, prior -11,500
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Participation Rate, est. 66.6%, prior 66.5%
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Unemployment Rate, est. 3.6%, prior 3.7%

Volatility gripped global markets as fresh turmoil at Credit Suisse Group AG days after the collapse of some American regional banks spurred a frantic rush for safety, evoking memories of the 2008 financial crisis and bolstering speculation that major central banks will have to curb their hawkishness to prevent a harsher economic landing.

Equities got some relief after Switzerland’s central bank and financial regulator said Credit Suisse will receive a liquidity backstop if needed — an effort to arrest the slump in confidence around the troubled lender. The S&P 500 pared a slide that topped 2% by more than half. A gauge of US financial heavyweights like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. also trimmed losses, but still hit the lowest since November 2020. First Republic Bank led a rout in US regional peers after being cut to junk by two credit firms.

Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge spiked after being relatively subdued for the most part this year. As investors sought refuge, gold reversed an earlier drop and the dollar rallied against all of its developed-market peers except the Japanese yen. Not every haven asset rose, though, with the Swiss franc sinking more than 2% against the greenback.

Bond yields plunged globally as mounting financial-stability concerns prompted traders to abandon bets on additional rate hikes and begin factoring in cuts by the Federal Reserve. They priced in a drop of more than 100 basis points in the US policy rate by year-end while downgrading the odds of additional tightening by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

Other News

A new study has delivered a disturbing finding about everyone’s favourite comfort crutch, the humble drink bottle.

The chokehold so-called “emotional support water bottles” have on society cannot be understated: the trend emerged during lockdown, and has since garnered hundreds of millions of views on TikTok.

“They are objects that can’t betray us,” Australian Catholic University clinical psychologist and hoarding disorder expert, Associate Professor Keong Yap, told The Sydney Morning Herald, comparing the phenomenon with objects children use to soothe anxiety (like stuffed toys). “They are reliable and predictable, unlike people who can hurt us.”

Turns out they can, however, “betray” you – if you don’t clean them regularly.

A recent study from US-based found reusable bottles can harbor 40,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat – describing them as being like a “portable Petri dish.”

Researchers swabbed parts of different water bottle three times each – including the spout lid, straw lid and squeeze-top lid – and found two types of bacteria present: Gram-negative rods and bacillus.

Gram-negative bacteria can cause infections that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics – while certain types of bacillus can result in gastrointestinal issues.

Comparing the cleanliness of the bottles to household objects also painted a dirty picture: they contain twice as germs as the kitchen sink; can harbor four times the amount of bacteria as a computer mouse; and 14 times more than a pet’s drinking bowl.

“The human mouth is home to a large number and range of different bacteria,” Imperial College London molecular microbiologist, Dr. Andrew Edwards, said.

“So it’s not surprising that drinking vessels are covered in microbes.”

And while bottles may serve as a breeding ground for high numbers of bacteria, University of Reading microbiologist Dr. Simon Clarke said “it’s not necessarily dangerous”.
“I’ve never heard of someone getting sick from a water bottle. Similarly, taps are clearly not a problem: when did you last hear of someone getting ill from pouring a glass of water from a tap?

“Water bottles are likely to be contaminated with the bacteria that are already in people’s mouths.”

Squeeze-top bottles were ultimately the cleanest of the three styles tested, with a tenth of the amount of bacteria as one with a screw-top or straw-fitted lid.

Suffice to say, cleaning your bottle needs to be a part of your daily routine.

Experts recommend washing it at least once a day with hot soapy water, and sanitizing it at least once a week – though increase the habit if you’ve been unwell, drink from it while eating, or are filling it with something other than water.

(New York Post)