In Asian Equity Markets Australian stocks closed lower on Monday as an Omicron-led surge in COVID-19 infections pushed the country’s tally past one million cases, with a decrease in local technology stocks ahead of a U.S. inflation report weighing further on markets. The S&P/ASX 200 ended 0.1 percent lower at 7,447.1, giving up some of Friday’s 1.3 percent gain. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3 percent, while South Korea lost 1.0 percent. Chinese blue chips were a fraction firmer as recent policy easing was balanced by lingering concerns over the property sector.

In Currency Markets the dollar was up on Monday morning in Asia starting the week strong as investors bet U.S. inflation data and appearances from several U.S. Federal Reserve officials would bolster the case for hiking interest rates. The U.S. Dollar Index Futures that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies edged up 0.19 percent to 95.905. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was up 0.23 percent to 115.81. The Sterling inched up 0.02 percent to 1.3588. The Australian dollar was up 0.27 percent to $0.7198 while the kiwi inched down 0.07 percent to $0.6775.

In US Equity Markets stocks wrapped up the first week of the new year with daily and weekly losses as investors worried about looming U.S. interest-rate hikes and unfolding Omicron news. The S&P 500 lost 0.42 percent, to end at 4,676.51 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.98 percent, to 14,934.57. The Dow fell 0.02 percent, to 36,228.20. Consumer discretionary and technology sectors led the way lower on the S&P 500 on Friday, while the S&P 500 financials sector and banking index extended recent gains.

In Commodities Markets oil prices settled lower on Friday, as the market weighed supply concerns from the unrest in Kazakhstan and outages in Libya against a U.S. jobs report that missed expectations and its potential impact on Federal Reserve policy. Brent crude settled down 0.3 percent, to $81.75 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 0.7 percent, at $78.90 a barrel. Spot gold was last up 0.1 percent at $1,791 per ounce. Spot silver was down 0.2 percent at $22.11 per ounce, platinum fell 1.1 percent to $954.11 per ounce, while palladium rose 1.7 percent to $1,906.15 per ounce.

In European Equity Markets stocks fell on Friday, as cautious investors eyed a U.S. jobs report and euro area inflation data for clues on how fast major central banks will tighten their monetary policies. The pan-European STOXX 600 edged 0.2 percent lower. Chemical and travel stocks were among sectors most under pressure, declining for a second straight session. Deutsche Bank climbed 2.7 percent to a more than six-month high. The German lender’s finance chief told Handelsblatt in an interview that the firm is confident it will reach a key profitability target this year.

In Bond Markets U.S. benchmark Treasury 10-year yield rose to a two-year high on Friday, as a mixed U.S. nonfarm payrolls report that showed fewer-than-expected new jobs created in December was viewed as good enough to keep the Fed on track to raise interest rates at its March meeting. The U.S. 10-year yield rose to 1.801 percent, the highest since January 2020. U.S. 30-year yields hit a fresh 11-week peak of 2.145 percent, and was last up 1 basis point at 2.1057 percent. U.S. 2-year yields rose to 0.908 percent, the highest since March 2020, and were last down 1.6 basis points at 0.8661 percent.

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