Rising interest rates, Covid cases in focus
As pedestrians walk by an ASX Ltd. Exchange Centre in Sydney (Australia), on Thursday, February 14, 2019, they are seen reflecting in a glass as they look at an electronic stockboard.
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SINGAPORE — Australian shares fell in early trade on Monday as investors keep an eye on the coronavirus pandemic as well as rising interest rates in the U.S.
This is the benchmark ASX 200As most industries struggle to make gains, the index fell 0.58%. Due to the sale of major bank names, the heavily weighted subindex in financials fell by 0.72%. But, energy and materials gained 0.61% and 1.04 respectively.
Japan’s markets will be closed on a public holiday.
The Monday session was followed by a mixed session from Asia on Friday, while the stock averages in America all fell.
The 10-year Treasury yield rose as high as 1.8% on FridayFollowing the publication of the December nonfarm payrolls reports, 199,000 new jobs were created for the month. The market expected 422,000 job openings, but this was significantly lower than what actually happened.
The minutes of last week’s U.S. Federal Reserve December meeting showed that Fed officials have indicated they are prepared to cut back on policy support. The minutes showed that central banks are planning to reduce their balance sheets and increase interest rates.
Elsewhere, Covid cases have continued to rise sharplyFollowing the introduction of the transmissible variant of the Omicron, there have been many cases around the globe. In the last few weeks, places like the U.S.A. and U.K. reported record numbers of cases.
The dollar index was up 0.7% to 95.786 in the currency market against its peer basket.
The Japanese yen was at 115.62 USD while the Australian Dollar traded close to flat at $0.7180.
Oil prices dropped Monday in Asia trading hours. U.S. crude oil was at $78.54/barrel, down 0.46 percent