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Bond rally points to sagging sentiment

Bond rally points to sagging sentiment

Bonds rallied around the globe as optimism about post-Covid19 economic re-opening faded. Bond curves steepened as investors piled into shorter dated bonds in a sign of growing risk aversion. European shares rose, but US indices fell. Currency markets went against the emerging trend, and both the US dollar and Yen weakened slightly.

US reporting saw 42 top 500 companies inform shareholders. Around three-quarters delivered earnings above expectations. Alphabet reported higher than expected revenues, but lower profits. This is line with season so far, where average sales growth is around 2% but earnings are down 15%. Advance Micro Devices reported in line, and Starbucks missed.

Asia Pacific markets are looking at a mixed start, after index futures for Australia and Japan rose modestly, and Hong Kong and Singapore futures fell slightly. Data could play an important role in today’s trading. Trade data from New Zealand is already in, and in line with expectations.

Australian inflation is expected to rise at the core level in the first quarter by 0.4%, or 1.5% annually. The benign forecasts reflect that the viral disruptions kicked in only in the last half of March. Singapore analysts are looking for a small lift in unemployment for the quarter to 2.6% from 2.3% previously, for similar reasons.

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