Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures little changed at 7,608.00
  • Dow Average down 0.4% to 38,627.99
  • Aussie up 0.1% to 0.6539 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield little changed at 4.2792%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 1.9 bps to 3.76%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 2.4 bps to 4.17%
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $2,017.21
  • Brent futures down 0.2% to $83.32/bbl

Economic Events

  • 11:30: (AU) RBA Minutes of Feb. Policy Meeting

Stocks and US equity futures were steady in muted trading as investors awaited fresh catalysts after a week that saw the S&P 500 breach new records and European equities falling just short of that mark.

S&P 500 futures edged 0.2% higher and Nasdaq 100 contracts rose 0.3%, with US cash markets shut for the President’s Day holiday. Earnings from bellwether Nvidia Corp. Wednesday could provide new impetus for equities as investors try to gauge the strength of the global economy.

US and global stocks are yet to respond to the selloff in Treasuries this month, after a string of better-than-expected economic data and hawkish comments by policy makers drove traders to roll back aggressive bets on rate cuts. Investors also have to contend with mixed earnings, while the Middle East conflict and Red Sea shipping chaos pose major risks to the outlook for profits.

Other News

Iron ore tumbled following a five-day run of gains and copper declined as China’s markets reopened, with investors weighing prospects for near-term demand in the world’s largest metals consumer.

Iron ore futures dropped from the highest close since the end of January, slumping as much as 3.4% before paring losses. While Premier Li Qiang called for “pragmatic and forceful” action to boost confidence in the economy, Beijing opted to keep the interest rate on its one-year policy loans steady.

Iron ore has backtracked this year amid concerns over China’s long-running property crisis, a sector that accounts for close to 40% of steel demand. Further insights into the outlook will come this week as major iron ore producers including BHP Group Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group are scheduled to unveil earnings.

Steel consumption remains tepid, with profits in the industry poor. Still, local governments may step up efforts to aid activity, according to Minmetals Futures Co. Ltd. Major projects in provinces including Guangdong are restarting, Mysteel said, and data showed a rise in existing home sales in key cities during the Lunar New Year break.

Iron ore in Singapore was 3.1% lower at $127.25 a ton at 12:18 p.m London time.

Most base metals were also weaker. Copper dropped 0.5% to $8,448.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange, declining from the highest close in two weeks. Aluminum fell 0.3% and tin 0.9%.