Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 7,256.00
  • Dow Average up 0.2% to 33,482.72
  • Aussie down 0.4% to 0.6721 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 3.0bps to 3.3089%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield little changed at 2.90%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 1.7 bps to 3.28%
  • Gold spot little changed at $2,020.73
  • Brent futures down 0.2% to $84.76/bbl

Economic Events

  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 59-Day Bills
  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$500 Million 87-Day Bills
  • 10:30: (AU) Australia to Sell A$500 Million 136-Day Bills
  • 11:30: (AU) RBA-Financial Stability Review
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Exports MoM, prior 1%
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. Imports MoM, prior 5%
  • 11:30: (AU) Feb. International Trade Balance, est. A$11.2b, prior A$11.7b

Stock futures in Asia fell after US equities dropped and government bonds rallied against the backdrop of weaker-than-expected economic data that supported forecasts for recession.

Contracts for share benchmarks in Japan and Australia dropped. The S&P 500 declined 0.3% as selling pressure clustered in vulnerable corners of the market.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 dropped 1%, eroding a stellar first quarter in which the tech-heavy index rose by fifth. An index of non-profitable tech companies fell 4%.

Hong Kong and mainland China stocks will resume trading after the market was closed Wednesday for a holiday. The Golden Dragon index of US-listed Chinese shares fell 2.7%, suggesting a downdraft in prices when the market opens.

Haven assets rallied. The 10-year Treasury yield fell three basis points and the interest-rate sensitive two-year yield dropped five basis points. Gold traded flat after touching a 13-month high in the prior session.

Other News

Australia is committed to remaining a major natural gas supplier for Asia’s largest economies, Resources Minister Madeleine King said, less than a week after the nation passed targets to drastically cut emissions from its export plants.

There will be “difficult times ahead” for the natural gas market due to accelerating policies to end carbon emissions across the region, but Australia will remain a reliable supplier of energy, King said.

“Australia can never consume as much gas as it produces, we just don’t have the population,” she said in an interview in Singapore. “The reason we have a gas industry at all is because of exports, is because of the needs of our Asian neighbors, and because of their investment, and that investment is continuing.”

Australia last week passed legislation targeting 4.9% annual cuts in emissions from its most-polluting industrial facilities, including from the massive LNG plants that are forecast to earn A$91 billion from exports in the year through June. The law led major importers such as Japan, which gets almost half of its LNG from Australia, to voice concerns about security of supply.

As part of the government’s signature policy to tackle climate change, new gas projects will need to produce net zero emissions, imposing greater costs on developers. King sought to reassure Australia’s trading partners, saying new supply would come online and all existing contracts would be honored.

“We all want to get to the same place — we want to decarbonize our economies,” she said. “Gas will be a critical transition fuel for my country, and for all of our Asian neighbors.”