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Marketmind: RBA shock hike starts huge week for central banks

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Marketmind: RBA shock hike starts huge week for central banks

A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Asia markets correspondent Kevin Buckland.

The Reserve Bank of Australia kicked off a string of major central bank meetings this week by surprising markets with a quarter-point rate hike, when most had been positioned for a pause. It even signalled the possibility of more tightening to come, jolting the Aussie to a one-week high.

The Fed is up tomorrow, followed by the ECB the next day, all while the Bank of Japan’s decision on Friday to remain a dovish outlier continued to reverberate in FX markets, knocking the yen to a fresh 15-year low against the euro.

Japan markets will be shut for public holidays for the next three days, missing not just the Fed and ECB decisions but Friday’s monthly U.S. payrolls report as well.

The ECB is among the most hawkish of the major monetary authorities and is expected to raise rates for a seventh straight meeting. The debate among policy makers is whether to opt for another half-point hike or slow to a quarter-point pace.

The Fed, meanwhile, is widely expected to hike rates by a final quarter point and then signal a pause. Money markets are still betting on a Fed rate cut before the end of the year.



Treasury yields were ticking down in Asia with risks from the debt ceiling standoff ramping up. President Joe Biden has called for a meeting with top congressional leaders amid warnings the U.S. may run short of cash around June 1, earlier than the market had been estimating.

Asian stocks were lower, pressured by weakness in financial shares in Tokyo, Sydney and Hong Kong after the seizure of First Republic Bank by regulators rekindled worries about the U.S. banking sector.

JPMorgan will pay $10.6 billion to the FDIC as part of a deal to take control of most of First Republic’s assets while gaining access to its coveted wealthy client base.

The White House said the lender was “severly mismanaged”, suggesting problems are not systemic in the second biggest bank failure in U.S. history. Biden repeated a call for stronger rules and oversight.

Meanwhile, changes may be in the offing for the Fed’s board, with the New York Times reporting that Biden is likely to nominate current governor Philip Jefferson to be vice chair and World Bank economist Adriana Kugler as a governor.

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

Euro-area CPI data

U.S. JOLTS report

Wall Street earnings including Pfizer ahead of the open, and Starbucks and Ford after the bell


(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Edmund Klamann)