Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.1% to 7,245.00
  • Dow Average down 0.7% to 33,309.51
  • Aussie down 1.1% to 0.6702 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield fell 5.7bps to 3.3843%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 6 bps to 3.07%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 6.4 bps to 3.39%
  • Gold spot down 0.7% to $2,015.08
  • Brent futures down 1.3% to $75.45/bbl

Economic Events

Stocks in Asia are set for a muted open after a mixed US session that saw Treasuries and the dollar rally on signals of a cooling jobs market and renewed concerns about the health of regional lenders.

Equity futures in Hong Kong advanced, while those for Japan and Australia were little changed and US contracts were stable in early Asian trade. The S&P 500 slid 0.2% on Thursday following jobs and inflation data, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 added 0.3% after Google parent Alphabet Inc. showcased its artificial intelligence tools.

Data showed US initial jobless claims reached the highest since October 2021 while producer prices rose 0.2% in April, trailing economists’ estimates for a 0.3% increase. The reports signal the Federal Reserve’s policy-tightening campaign may finally be having an effect on inflation as the central bank walks a tightrope between reining in rising prices and tipping the economy into a downturn.

Commodities slumped on the bearish economic indicators and renewed concerns about China’s economic recovery after credit and new loans fell in April from the previous month. However, US-listed Chinese stocks climbed the most in three months after earnings from boosted e-commerce stocks, and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi in a move to ease rising tensions between the nations.

Haven assets traded stronger, with the dollar rising the most in two months and Treasury yields falling. The policy-sensitive two-year rate fell to 3.9%, while 30-year bonds extended a rally following a stronger-than-expected auction.

Other News

As the last continents to be settled by humans, the question of how and when people first came to the Americas has long intrigued scientists.

A new genetics study published on Tuesday (May 9) in Cell Reports finds that some of the first arrivals came from China during two distinct migrations: The first during the last ice age, and the second shortly after.

“Our findings indicate that besides the previously indicated ancestral sources of Native Americans in Siberia, the northern coastal China also served as a genetic reservoir contributing to the gene pool,” Yu-Chun Li, one of the report authors, told AFP.

Li added that during the second migration, the same lineage of people settled in Japan, which could help explain similarities in prehistoric arrowheads and spears found in the Americas, China and Japan.

It was once believed that ancient Siberians, who crossed over a land bridge that existed in the Bering Strait linking modern Russia and Alaska, were the sole ancestors of Native Americans.

More recent research, from the late 2000s onwards, has signaled more diverse sources from Asia could be connected to an ancient lineage responsible for founding populations across the Americas, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and California.

Known as D4h, this lineage is found in mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from mothers and is used to trace maternal ancestry.

The team from the Kunming Institute of Zoology embarked on a ten-year hunt for D4h, combing through 100,000 modern and 15,000 ancient DNA samples across Eurasia. They eventually landed on 216 contemporary and 39 ancient individuals who came from the ancient lineage.

By analysing the mutations that had accrued over time, looking at the samples’ geographic locations and using carbon dating, they were able to reconstruct the D4h lineage’s origins and expansion history.

The results revealed two migration events. The first was between 19,500 and 26,000 years ago during the Last Glacial Maximum, when ice sheet coverage was at its greatest and climate conditions in northern China were likely inhospitable.

The second occurred during the melting period, between 19,000 and 11,500 years ago. Increasing human populations during this period might have triggered migrations.