Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 7,150.00
  • Dow Average down 0.1% to 32,764.65
  • Aussie down 0.6% to 0.6505 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield rose 7.5bps to 3.8174%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield rose 7.5 bps to 3.42%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield rose 5.3 bps to 3.70%
  • Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,940.74
  • Brent futures down 2.9% to $76.07/bbl

Economic Events

  • 11:30: (AU) April Retail Sales MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4%

Asian stocks were likely to find some support from signs of progress in debt-ceiling talks and gains in US equities with a frenzy of interest in the artificial intelligence sector.

Futures for Japan’s equity benchmark rose, while those for Australia were little changed. Hong Kong is closed for a public holiday. A bullish sales forecast from Nvidia Corp. ignited the jump on Wall Street Thursday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 gaining 2.5% and the S&P 500 adding 0.9%.

A gauge of the dollar’s strength extended gains into a fourth day, the longest winning streak since October, while commodities are set for a sixth weekly drop on China’s muted economic rebound, their worst run since late 2015.

Treasury-bill yields slated to mature early next month edged higher as investors continued to demand a premium on securities seen most at risk of non-payment if the government exhausts its borrowing capacity. The wrangling in Washington adds to the risks assessed by Federal Reserve officials as they consider pausing interest rate increases.

Traders are now fully pricing in another quarter-point hike within the next two policy meetings after the release of mixed data on Thursday, including a higher revised first-quarter GDP and fewer-than-expected jobless claims.

Oil fell the most since early May after Russia downplayed the likelihood of another OPEC+ production cut, extending its loss to about 9% this year, with China’s muted economic rebound and tighter US monetary policy combining to weigh on prices. Copper and iron ore have both breached key levels this week, pulling down the Bloomberg Commodity Index.

Other News

The most miserable allergy season in recent memory is filling offices with a symphony of coughs, sniffles and sneezes.

The pollen has tormented employees — and any co-workers within earshot — as they constantly sniffle and interrupt presentations and meetings with coughing and sneezing fits.

Samantha Santos, a 35-year-old New Yorker, said she runs into her office bathroom sometimes to hide her coughing attacks.

“Coughing and sneezing is so not office etiquette,” said Santos, the chief of staff for a team of real-estate agents. She had to mute herself on a call with an apartment renter this spring because she couldn’t stop coughing.

After her coughs subside, she said she follows a new norm in a Covid-19 world: reassuring her co-workers she isn’t contagious. She keeps a stockpile of Covid tests at home and takes one whenever she feels sick.”Don’t worry,” she tells colleagues. “I just took a test.”

Doctors said seasonal allergies started early this year because the mild winter made trees release pollen ahead of schedule. Pollen levels vary across the country but typically peak from April to June. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2021 found that the North American pollen season starts earlier and lasts longer than it did in 1990, with higher concentrations of pollen.

(Wall Street Journal)