Superior ASX; IGO prolongs losses; The RBA says the financial system is sound; GrainCorp strong demand for cereals; KPMG Says Woodside/BHP Deal Is Fair; Bailador sells Instaclustr; Pro Medicus in contract with Inova Health; 10-year bond yields break 3pc.

Stocks headed for a weekly loss on Friday as the prospect of aggressive global rate hikes finally began to rattle investors, while bonds fell and the dollar looked poised for its best week in a month.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan was flat in morning trade and down about 1.5% for the week so far. The Japanese Nikkei fell 0.2% on Friday, for a loss of almost 3% for the week.

Federal Reserve policymakers are ready to start cutting central bank assets from May and are ready to raise rates by 50 basis points both to curb inflation, meeting minutes and the officials’ remarks were published this week.

The war in Ukraine and the shock wave it caused to commodity prices, as well as the ongoing damage to supply chains caused by the pandemic, put even greater pressure on consumer prices and reinforce the feeling of a major change in trends.

The risk of a populist upheaval in France’s presidential elections has also sown jitters in markets – dragging down French debt and the euro – ahead of Sunday’s first round of voting.

Elsewhere, long-term Treasuries bore the brunt of this week’s sell-off in hemorrhaging bond markets as traders saw it hit hardest by the Fed’s cut in bond holdings.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rose 25 basis points to 2.64% this week, and was flat in Asian trade on Friday. The 30-year yield is up 22 basis points.

The U.S. dollar was the main beneficiary and the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, hit a near two-year high of 99.904 on Friday.

The strengthening dollar and lower oil prices with the release of reserves from reserves also pushed commodity-linked currencies to their recent highs and increased pressure on the struggling yen. Japan’s currency is near its lowest levels in years and was under pressure at 124.23 on the dollar.

Brent crude futures were flat at US$100.56 a barrel and US crude futures held steady at US$96.17.


Source link

Don F. Davis