- ASX SPI 200 futures up 0.2% to 7,553.00
- Dow Average up 0.2% to 38,109.43
- Aussie down 0.1% to 0.6577 per US$
- U.S. 10-year yield rose 1.9bps to 4.1373%
- Australia 3-year bond yield little changed at 3.80%
- Australia 10-year bond yield little changed at 4.24%
- Gold spot down 0.1% to $2,018.52
- Brent futures up 1.4% to $83.55/bbl
Wall Street grappling with mixed economic data sent Treasuries down, with traders betting the Federal Reserve will signal patience before it decides to cut interest rates this year.
Bond losses were led by shorter maturities as data showed personal spending topped estimates — even as the Fed’s preferred gauge of underlying inflation slowed to an almost three-year low. With policymakers telegraphing they want to see sustainable signs of cooling before lowering borrowing costs, the figures only reinforced bets that a March pivot is still very much elusive.
Two-year US yields topped 4.35%. The S&P 500 wavered, while notching a third straight weekly gain. The Nasdaq 100 underperformed as disappointing forecasts from Intel Corp. and KLA Corp. weighed on chipmakers. Oil hit a two-month high after a fuel tanker operated on behalf of trading giant Trafigura Group. was struck by a missile as it transited the Red Sea, underscoring the geopolitical risks to crude supplies.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his revised tax plan stands on its own and there is no scope for any further income support right now.
The government’s plan needs to pass through both parliament and the senate, with independent senator David Pocock telling local media the government should use savings to increase welfare payments.
Albanese said Saturday there is no surplus money from the package, and his government won’t be “trading” to win political backing. Income support is always considered at budget time, he added.
“We stand by this package, which stands by itself as a good thing to do to ensure that every Australian gets a tax cut, not just some,” he told reporters. “What we’re not going to be doing here is trading.”
Albanese said the government has already moved to cut costs for low-income earners through moves to increase the Medicare levy threshold as well as higher payments to single parents and job seekers, reduced cost of medicines and energy price relief.
“All of these measures were put in place to ensure that people got assistance with cost of living,” he said. “But in particular, how do you give assistance on cost of living to middle class working families? The best way to do it is through the tax system.”