Oct 4, 2018, by Lorcan Roche Kelly
A government bond rout that began yesterday in the Treasury market has gone global, gripping markets from Asia to Europe. The move began yesterday after stronger-than-expected data on the U.S. economy and was bolstered by comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell in which he said the central bank may eventually boost its benchmark past the neutral level. In Japan, the 10-year yield rose to 0.159 percent, a level last seen when the Bank of Japan introduced its negative rate policy in January 2016, while in Europe, German debt bore the brunt of the selling with benchmark bund yields climbing to 0.537 percent.
The White House announced it had received the FBI’s report on allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Senators will be allowed to view the report before voting on the nomination, which could come as soon as tomorrow. President Donald Trump has been unflinching in his support for his pick, and seems to have calculated this will help drive Republican voters to the polls in November.
Investigators have found a tiny microchip on the motherboard of servers assembled by Super Micro Computer Inc. that allow attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network using the machines, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Multiple people familiar with the matter say the chips were inserted at manufacturing subcontractors in China. Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., SuperMicro, and the Chinese government all issued statements disputing the findings in Bloomberg’s report. The FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, representing the CIA and NSA, declined to comment.
Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 1.2 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.1 percent lower as the weakening yen protected that country’s stocks from the worst of the selloff. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.8 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. Eastern Time with every major gauge in the region in the red. S&P 500 futures pointed to a drop at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.215 percent and gold was flat.
At 8:30 a.m., weekly initial jobless claims data will give one last look at the health of the U.S. jobs market ahead of tomorrow’s payrolls numbers. Durable goods and factory orders numbers for August are due at 10:00 a.m. Vice President Mike Pence will accuse China of election-meddling in a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington later today. Also in the capital, the Economic Club of Washington will hold an event with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.