Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 7,274.00
  • Dow Average little changed at 33,300.62
  • Aussie down 0.8% to 0.6648 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield rose 7.9bps to 3.4625%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 4.8 bps to 3.02%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 6.5 bps to 3.32%
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $2,010.77
  • Brent futures down 1.1% to $74.17/bbl

Economic Events

US stock futures declined and the dollar traded in tight ranges versus major peers as investors weighed signs of progress in talks to avert a debt default and persistent inflationary pressure.

The picture for Asian stocks was mixed, with futures for Hong Kong down, those for Japan up and contracts for Australia’s benchmark marginally lower.

That followed stocks and bonds floundering on Wall Street on Friday as investors lost faith that a pause in the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hiking cycle was a given. The S&P 500 ended the week down 0.3% while the Nasdaq 100 eked out a 0.6% advance.

Inflation concerns persist, with a preliminary University of Michigan sentiment survey showing consumers expect prices to rise at a 3.2% annual rate over the next five to 10 years, a 12-year high.

It’s a very different situation in China, were inflationary pressure has been in retreat, raising speculation that the central bank may ease monetary policy. Bloomberg Economics projects a 10 basis points cut in the medium-term lending facility rate Monday while other analysts expect it to remain at 2.75%.

Meanwhile, progress in US debt-ceiling talks hasn’t removed the risk of a failure to reach a compromise. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the department could run out of money as soon as June 1, or in the weeks after that.

Yields on the policy-sensitive two-year Treasuries climbed to 3.99% on Friday while the 10-year rose to 3.46%. Yields on new Zealand government debt were slightly higher Monday.

The dollar notched its biggest weekly gain since February as investors embraced its safe haven status.

Other News

The world’s oldest dog is living it up in his 30s.

Bobi, a Portuguese pooch who was declared the world’s oldest dog by Guinness World Records in February, celebrated his 31st birthday on Thursday, according to a news release from Guinness.

Bobi’s family planned a Saturday birthday party at his home in Conqueiros, a rural village in southern Portugal.

His owner, Leonel Costa, told Guinness that it will be a “very traditional” Portuguese party. Over 100 people are set to attend and a dance troupe are set to perform, according to the news release.

Costa told Guinness that Bobi has been enjoying a lot of attention since being crowned the world’s oldest dog.

“We’ve had a lot of journalists and people come from all over the world to take a picture with Bobi,” he said in the release.

He added that the senior pup was in good health and recently received a check-up due to Costa’s concerns about the stress of frequent visitors.

“There were a lot of pictures taken and he had to get up and down many times,” he said in the release. “It wasn’t easy for him.”

Bobi is a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of Portuguese dog trained to guard livestock, according to his owner. As he’s gotten older, he has had difficulties walking and also experienced a decline in his eyesight.

Costa attributed his dog’s longevity in part to the “calm, peaceful environment” where he lives.

In addition to being the oldest dog currently living, Bobi is also the oldest dog ever recorded, according to Guinness. Costa was just 8 years old when his canine companion was born.