After a four-month pause, the Reserve Bank of Australia raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 4.35% on Tuesday but dovishly tweaked its forward guidance, suggesting this may be the last hike. Governor Michele Bullock said further tightening remains possible if stubborn inflation persists, though RBA forecasts now see consumer prices reaching the top of its 2-3% target range only by the end of 2025. The RBA remains one of the few global central banks still tightening even as growth slows to 2.1%. While the Australian dollar and bonds crashes on lowered rate hike bets after the decision, the RBA's data-dependent stance leaves the door open to more tightening if needed to tame inflation.
The Dow inched up as Treasury yields rebounded, curbing upside momentum ahead of remarks from Fed officials and corporate earnings this week. Regional banks slipped as lending conditions tightened in Q3 while the earnings season winds down, with companies like Disney and Occidental still to report. Tesla held steady on news it may launch a cheaper EV model in Germany, but stocks rallied aggressively last week as investor bets on peaked rates rose post-Fed and soft jobs data.
Gold slid as the dollar rebounded and yields rose, though rangebound trading persists pending commentary from Powell, who may maintain a dovish tone. Meanwhile, rising debt and deficits represent a ticking timebomb that shortens as total debt outpaces revenue, which may force the Fed to either continue inflating or risk a standstill or even negative growth. For now, profit-taking activity dominates as risk remounts as equity turned positive last week.
Crude oil prices weakened even as top producers Saudi Arabia and Russia reaffirmed output cuts, while weak Chinese demand and easing refinery runs tempered gains. De-escalation in the Levant gives hope for stabilisation in the region after aid was allowed to pass through. Looking ahead, oil is likely to remain rangebound as traders digest mixed signals on production and consumption amid global economic uncertainty.
The greenback is slowly recovering after dipping to an 8-week low as expectations grew that the Fed would no longer fiddle with the rate, though hawkish hints may still loom. Dovish winds blew as weaker jobs data paired with euro zone weakness, yet CPI's verdict next week will determine if more rate jumps are in the Fed's sight. Meanwhile, the yen flirted once more with intervention-rousing lows.