Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.5% to 7,340.00
  • Dow Average down 0.3% to 33,786.62
  • Aussie up 0.4% to 0.6743 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 5.7bps to 3.5337%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 1 bp to 3.17%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 1.9 bps to 3.49%
  • Gold spot up 0.5% to $2,004.68
  • Brent futures down 2.8% to $80.82/bbl

Economic Events

  • 09:00: (AU) April Judo Bank Australia PMI Servic, prior 48.6
  • 09:00: (AU) April Judo Bank Australia PMI Compos, prior 48.5
  • 09:00: (AU) April Judo Bank Australia PMI Mfg, prior 49.1

Asian equity markets are poised for declines after technology stocks led Wall Street lower and bonds rose on data that showed some softening in the labor market, housing and a gauge of business outlook.

Futures for equity benchmarks in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong all signal markets will open lower Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 underperformed, with Tesla Inc. down about 10% after signaling it will keep cutting prices to stoke demand while the S&P 500 dropped ahead of Friday’s options expiration.

Meanwhile, wagers are in place for the Bank of Japan to adjust its stance, months after it doubled its yield cap to 0.5% in a surprise move that jolted global markets as Governor Kazuo Ueda gears up for his first policy meeting next week.

The dollar retreated against most of its developed-market peers as traders pared back expectations for Federal Reserve rate hikes after the soft jobless claims and home-sales data. The policy-sensitive two-year yield declined as much as 10 basis points to 4.14%.

However, Fed Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester signaled support for another rate hike to quell inflation while flagging the need to watch recent bank stress that could crimp credit and dampen the economy. Her Dallas counterpart Lorie Logan said inflation has been “much too high,” while outlining measures to watch.

Recurring unemployment benefit claims jumped to the highest level since November 2021, adding to signs that the labor market is beginning to lose momentum. Sales of previously owned homes fell in March by more than forecast, underscoring a housing market that’s still on shaky footing despite some signs of stabilizing. US mortgage rates rose for the first time since early March.

In other markets, oil fell the most in more than a month, wiping out almost all of the gains stemming from OPEC+’s surprise output cut on signs of a global economic slowdown. Gold was little changed around the $2,000 an ounce mark.

Other News

A Brisbane accountant’s name will go down in history after beating the world record for the most push-ups in one hour.

Lucas Helmke, 33, managed an insane 3,206 push-ups during his successful world record attempt in a Brisbane gym, which has now been officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

For those having trouble wrapping your head around that figure, that’s an average of 53 per minute.

The previous record of 3,182 was set by another Aussie, Adelaide mechanic Daniel Scali, in April 2022.

Helmke attempted this record to “provide inspiration” for his one-year-old son in a bid to “show him nothing is impossible”.

The Queensland man trained for three years to break the record, with the official attempt taking place at powerlifting gym Iron Underground, Brisbane.

He did the push-ups in 30-second sets, aiming for 26 push-ups in each set, though he actually exceeded his own target, averaging 26.7 push-ups in every 30-second set.

To qualify for the world record, Helmke had to maintain perfect form for each push-up, or they didn’t count towards the total. In all, 34 – around 1 per cent – of his push-ups were disallowed.

For each push-up, he had to keep his body straight, there could not be any bending at the knees or waist visible, and the body had to be lowered until his elbow was at least at 90-degrees then lifted until straight.

But this is only the start of the Brisbane dad’s quest for world records. He now plans to break at least one record every year from now on.

“This will be the first record I wish to set of a number of other push-up records,” Helmke said.

“Then on to other physical records.”

However he may have some stiff competition – media in Florida reported recently that a man had already surpassed Helmke’s record by another 58 push-ups. That effort, however, is yet to be officially recognized.

(New York Post)