Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.2% to 7,253.00
  • Dow Average down 0.6% to 33,402.38
  • Aussie down 0.5% to 0.6752 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 7.4bps to 3.3387%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 8.5 bps to 2.90%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 6.3 bps to 3.26%
  • Gold spot up 1.8% to $2,020.37
  • Brent futures up 0.5% to $85.37/bbl

Economic Events

  • 09:00: (AU) March Judo Bank Australia PMI Compos, prior 48.1
  • 09:00: (AU) March Judo Bank Australia PMI Servic, prior 48.2
  • 11:00: (AU) Australia to Sell A$800 Million 2.75% 2035 Bonds
  • 12:30: (AU) RBA’s Lowe-Speech

Equity markets in Asia were poised for a cautious open after US stocks halted a four-day winning streak amid a selloff in banks.

Futures for stock markets in Australia and Japan declined, while those for Hong Kong gained. Contracts for US benchmarks edged higher as they opened in Asia trading Wednesday after the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.6% a day earlier.

Banks came under renewed pressure, with a gauge of financial heavyweights in the US falling the most in almost two weeks. In a wide-ranging annual letter to shareholders, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s chief Jamie Dimon warned the US banking crisis that sent markets careening last month will be felt for years.

Treasuries rose, with the two-year yield, the more sensitive to changes in monetary policy, declining as much as 14 basis points as data showing a drop in job openings bolstered bets the Federal Reserve is about to wrap up its tightening campaign.

Other News

The ultra-wealthy appear to be losing interest in New Zealand.

A new investor visa, aimed at luring high-net-worth individuals who can pour millions of dollars into the nation’s companies, has attracted just 14 applications since it was launched about six months ago. That compares to 492 applicants to the country’s old visa program in 2021, before it tightened the rules to require bigger sums of money and ruled out investing in real estate.

The changes were implemented as governments around the world grapple with a conundrum: They want cash from overseas investors, but the politics surrounding visas for wealthy foreigners are often fraught, especially as locals face higher housing costs. New Zealand politicians are acutely aware of this tension — six years ago, there was a public uproar when it emerged tech billionaire Peter Thiel was granted citizenship in 2011 despite having spent only 12 days in the country in the five years preceding his application.

The dearth of applicants for the new visa suggests the country may have gone too far, said Marcus Beveridge, managing director of Auckland law firm Queen City Law, which advises people looking to immigrate to New Zealand. The first 10 applicants to the new program had a combined NZ$111 million ($70 million) in funds to invest. In comparison, the old program raked in an average of NZ$1 billion each year over the past decade.

“It’s an embarrassment, the whole thing,” Beveridge said. “I call it gross negligence from the government to allow this to happen to something that was really important to the economy.”

Government officials aren’t concerned about the slow start to the new visa program. They argue investors and their advisers need time to digest the nuances of the updated requirements, and that applications will eventually increase. The program will be reviewed later this year to make sure it’s working well, the government said.