US cash equity markets ended the session mixed as the Nasdaq set a fresh record closing high led by strong gains in tech stocks fronted by Apple, while industrials have weighed on the DJIA, with heavy losses seen in Boeing, Caterpillar and United Technologies. In fixed, Treasuries edged higher although there was not much reaction to the second of Monday’s note auction, the US Treasury sold $21.0 Bln of 10-year notes to yield 2.889% (WI: 2.889%). In FX, the USD index crept lower while Sterling maintained a modest bid. Staying in the UK, PM May said it is highly likely that Russia were behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy. Elsewhere, ECB President Draghi told EU Finance Ministers that conditions have been met to begin talks to move to the first phase of common bank deposit insurance. US crude futures settled at $61.36 (-$0.68).
Following the US close, Senior Republican Committee member Conaway said the US House Intelligence Committee are ending the interview phase of Trump-Russia probe, adding the panel found no evidence of collusion between Trump campaign and Russian meddling in 2016’s US election. Meanwhile, top US House Intelligence Committee Democrat Schiff called the Republican decision to call time on Russia interviews a capitulation to Trump, adding clear and overwhelming evidence backs intelligence communities findings that Russia sought to boost Trump in the 2016 US election. Elsewhere, US President Trump issued an order that says Broadcom’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm is prohibited. The order said any acquisition, merger or takeover substantially equivalent to proposed Broadcom-Qualcomm is also prohibited.
Ahead of the Asian open, New Zealand food prices declined 0.5% m/m in February, while Australia’s weekly consumer confidence index fell to 116.0. Meanwhile, Kyodo reported that Japanese Finance Minister Aso is considering not attending the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires this month.
Looking ahead, we get Japan’s PPI and tertiary industry index. Down under, we get Australian home loans and NAB business confidence & conditions. On the speaker front, we look for possible comments from RBNZ Governor Spencer and RBA’s Bullock.