1. Nasdaq Futures Slide as Yields Climb With Dollar

A fresh bout of bond volatility hit markets on Friday, sparking a risk-off mood that sent technology stocks sharply lower. The dollar jumped. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 gauge slumped after accelerating vaccinations in the U.S. and the passage of the $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief bill sent Treasury yields surging. The tech-heavy index dropped as much as 2% as the Treasury 10-year yield hit 1.61%. European shares dropped, with tech the biggest decliner.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index dipped 0.3% as of 8:20 a.m. New York time.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.4%.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.1%.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.4%.

2. Biden Sees Normalcy Return by Summer as Vaccinations Surge

President Joe Biden offered a Fourth of July goal for the U.S. to begin returning to normal as “light in the darkness” to a weary nation on Thursday, counting on a rapidly expanding supply of coronavirus vaccine to raise American hopes. In his first prime-time address as president, Biden told states he wants all adults in the U.S. made eligible for vaccines by May 1. The new goal carried echoes of the last time Biden made a promise he was already on track to meet — his declaration before taking office that his administration would preside over 100 million doses of vaccine jabbed into American arms in his first 100 days. 

3. Yellen Says Americans to Start Seeing Payments This Weekend

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Americans would begin receiving $1,400 relief payments in their bank accounts this weekend following the enactment of the $1.9 trillion pandemic-relief bill. Her remarks came hours after President Joe Biden signed the bill into law triggering aid for households, businesses and state and local governments. Biden addressed the nation from the White House Thursday evening, marking the day a year ago when the Covid-19 virus began forcing Americans into isolation. The disease devastated the economy and eventually killed more than 500,000 people in the U.S.

4. Canada’s Economy Adds 259,000 Jobs, Blows Past Expectations

Canada’s labour market roared back to life in February after authorities began lifting lockdowns. The economy added 259,200 jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa. That’s the first month of job gains since November when a new set of containment measures were implemented to curb the second wave of Covid-19 cases. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2%, the lowest since the very beginning of the pandemic. Friday’s better-than-expected report should ease worries about widespread scarring in the labour market from the pandemic, and stoke expectations the Bank of Canada will soon start tightening ultra-easy monetary policy.

5. EU Governments Push to Relax Ban on International Travel

A group of European Union nations that count tourism as a significant industry is pushing for a relaxation of rules on travelling to the bloc from the rest of the world, according to diplomats. The EU imposed a blanket ban on non-essential travel from most countries last March in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19. But with vaccinations gathering pace, some states want to adopt a more targeted regime to help spur an economic recovery. The governments want to move to a system that allows people to travel on the basis of whether they have been inoculated against the coronavirus, recovered from it, or tested negative, in a similar regime to the one that’s been proposed for internal EU travel.

6. Grab in Advanced Talks to Merge With Altimeter’s First SPAC

Grab Holdings is in advanced talks to go public through Altimeter Capital’s first blank-check company, in a deal that could value the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant at about $40 billion. The potential transaction with Altimeter Growth Corp. could involve raising $2.5 billion to $3 billion through private investment in public equity, or PIPE. Formal talks with prospective PIPE investors could start as soon as next week. A deal announcement could come as early as April. Evercore, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are advising on the SPAC discussions, and more banks could be added later.

7. China Hits Out at New Huawei Curbs, Says U.S. Can’t Be Trusted

China blasted President Joe Biden’s administration for imposing new restrictions on national tech champion Huawei Technologies, saying the U.S. “isn’t a reliable country that is to be trusted.” The U.S. informed some Huawei suppliers of tighter conditions on previously approved export licenses, prohibiting items for use in or with 5G devices. The ban is effective as of this week. The measure would hurt both the U.S. and China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday. “It will severely disrupt the technological exchanges and trade exchanges of the two countries and the world at large, it will undermine the global industrial chains and supply chains,” Zhao said. “The U.S. should stop the suppression of Chinese companies immediately and treat Chinese companies in a fair, just and non-discriminatory manner.”

8. Binance Probed by CFTC On U.S. Residents Making Trades

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, is being investigated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over concerns that it allowed Americans to place wagers that violated U.S. rules. The CFTC is seeking to determine whether Binance, which isn’t registered with the agency, permitted U.S. residents to buy and sell derivatives that the regulator polices. Binance, which has an office in Singapore but says it lacks a single corporate headquarters, hasn’t been accused of misconduct and the investigation may not lead to enforcement action. The scrutiny is the latest sign that market watchdogs may thwart the crypto industry’s ambitions of becoming more mainstream for U.S. investors.

9. Ant Group CEO Simon Hu Said to Resign, Jing to Take Position

Simon Hu has unexpectedly resigned as chief executive officer of Ant Group, adding fresh turmoil to the financial technology giant as it grapples with Chinese government demands to overhaul its business. Hu resigned for personal reasons, also stepping down from his role as an executive director on the company’s board. Eric Jing, already Ant’s chairman, will become CEO as well effective immediately. Hu, 51, joined Ma’s Alibaba Group in 2005 after working at China Construction Bank, the nation’s second-largest lender. He was known for rolling out innovations such as using data analytics to offer collateral-free financing services to small businesses and helping Alibaba beat Amazon.com to build Asia’s largest cloud business.

10. Quiet India Tycoon Beats Musk, Ambani to Add The Most Wealth

Indian tycoon Gautam Adani has added more billions to his wealth than anyone else in the world this year on the back of investor excitement around his ports-to-power plants conglomerate. The net worth of Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur who rarely speaks publicly, has jumped $16.2 billion in 2021 to $50 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This has made him the year’s biggest wealth gainer, beating even Elon Musk, who has tussled with Jeff Bezos in 2021 for the title of world’s richest. Shares of all Adani group stocks, except one, have rallied at least 50% this year.

Curated from Bloomberg.com

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