Overview: Amid light news, global equities are moving higher In Asia, the Nikkei rose to a new high since early December, while the Shanghai Composite rose 2.3% and posted its highest close since March 2018. European equities are solid, with the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 moving higher for the fifth consecutive session. US shares are trading higher and the S&P 500 is edging closer to the record high set last September near 2941. Benchmark 10-year yields are mostly firmer. In Europe, Italy is an exception, as it bonds trade like risk assets, and Antipodean bond yields also slipped. The 10-year Germany Bund yield bottomed last month near minus 10 bp and is near seven basis points now. The 10 bp yield mark is an important threshold. The dollar is mostly a little firmer against the major currencies. The dollar-bloc currencies and sterling are the heaviest, while the yen is firmer with the help of cross-rate demand. Narrow ranges prevail.
The minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s recent meeting showed that scenarios under which the central bank could cut rates were discussed, but officials indicated that the bar to a cut was still high. There was not, they concluded, a compelling case of a near-term adjustment. The minutes are part of the gradual shift toward a more dovish posture. Falling house prices are crimping consumption, but the labor market remains strong, with the unemployment rate at eight-year lows. In the scenario of a rate cut, the RBA identified a reversal of the labor market’s strength. Australia publishes March employment data first this Thursday in Sydney. Given the minutes, the market is more likely to sell the Australian dollar on disappointment than buy on a strong report. Australia lost 7.3k full-time positions in February.
China will report March industrial