Asian markets sidelined by commodity currencies, oil price spikes

22 Feb 2021

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia – It was a mixed day on Asian bourses on Monday as oil prices, and commodity currencies rose, along with bond yields.

Higher interest rates and commodity currencies are in anticipation of a broader global economic recovery in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, which is showing tentative signs of receding.

“Yield curves have continued to steepen, as COVID infection rates decline further, reopening plans are discussed and a large U.S. fiscal stimulus package looks likely,” Christian Keller, Barclays’ head of economics research told Reuters Thomson Monday.

“This in principle signals a better medium-term growth outlook for the U.S. and beyond, as other core yields curves are moving in the same direction. Meanwhile, central banks seem set to look through this year’s inflation increase, keeping the curves’ front end anchored,” Kellor added.

The Australian All Ordinaries dipped 2.40 points or 0.03 percent to 7,061.60, despite the Australian dollar hurlding the crucial 0.79 cents level to trade at 0.7908, a 3-year high.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan added 138.11 points or 0.46 percent to 7,061.60.

On foreign exchange markets, the Aussie dollar, after the earlier euphoria, settled back at around 0.7876 going into the Sydney close. The New Zealand dollar also starred, finishing the day around 0.7307. The other commodity currency, the Canadian dollar accelerated to 1.2606.

Elsewhere the British pound consolidated its recent rise above 1.4000. It last traded in Sydney at 1.4011. The euro was steady at 1.2121. The Japanese yen was unchanged at 105.65. The Swiss franc weakened to 0.8978.