Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.6% to 7,811.00
  • Dow Average down 0.2% to 38,722.69
  • Aussie up 0.1% to 0.6628 per US$
  • US 10-year yield little changed at 4.0749%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 3 bps to 3.61%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield fell 3.5 bps to 3.97%
  • Gold spot up 0.9% to $2,178.95
  • Brent futures down 1.1% to $82.08/bbl

Economic Events

Shares in Asia were primed for a muted open Monday as investors look ahead to US inflation data due Tuesday that is expected to show a further slowing in core prices.

Futures for share benchmarks in Australia and Japan fell, while those for Hong Kong inched higher. The moves follow a downbeat end to the week in the US, where the S&P 500 slipped 0.7% and the Nasdaq 100, which is more sensitive to monetary policy, dropped 1.5%.

Currencies were steady early Monday in Asia after an index of the dollar ended last week 1% lower, its worst weekly decline since December. The decline partly reflected renewed strength in the yen. The Japanese currency rallied 2% last week, its best since July last year, on heightened speculation the Bank of Japan will end its negative interest rate policy.

Data in Japan, including gross domestic product figures, will help shine further light on the Japanese economy and the path ahead for the central bank. Elsewhere in Asia, Chinese reports on new lending and money supply could be released as soon as Monday, while markets are closed in Indonesia.

Tuesday’s US consumer price index figures will dominate the economic data reports this week. The core prices gauge is seen rising 0.3% in February from a month earlier, and 3.7% on a year-over-year basis — which would be the smallest annual rise since April 2021.

Other News

Risks to the Australian financial system from lending to households warrants close attention but remains contained for the time being, Council of Financial Regulators says in quarterly statement released Monday.

  • There has “been an increase in the share of households who had fallen behind on loan payments (from historically low levels), and Council members expect some further increase in the period ahead”
  • “Most households continue to be able to meet their debt servicing and other essential spending commitments, although many have had to make adjustments to their finances in a period of higher inflation and interest rates”
  • However, hardship applications had risen materially over the past year, CFR says
  • Council also discussed challenging conditions in global and Australian commercial real estate (CRE) markets