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By Florence Fabricant

Treasuries Show Modest Move Back The Upside

Treasuries showed a modest move to the upside during trading on Monday, regaining some ground after trending lower over the past few sessions.

Bond prices moved higher early in the session and remained in positive territory throughout the day. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by 1.2 basis points to 1.481 percent.

The uptick by treasuries came despite continued strength on Wall Street, as stocks continued to benefit from easing concerns about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Treasuries may have benefited from the results of the Treasury Department’s auction of $56 billion worth of two-year notes, which attracted modestly above average demand.

The two-year note auction drew a high yield of 0.769 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.55, while the ten previous two-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.51.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

Looking ahead, the Treasury is due to announce the results of this month’s auctions of $57 billion worth of five-year note and $56 billion worth of seven-year notes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Gold futures settled lower on Monday, snapping a 3-day winning streak. A slightly firm U.S. dollar weighed on gold prices.

Investors continued to track reports about surging coronavirus cases and weigh the variant’s impact on the economic recovery.

The dollar index, which rose to 96.26 in the Asian session, pared some gains subsequently and is at 96.10, up 0.08% from the previous close.

Gold futures for February ended down b $2.90 or about 0.2% at $1.808.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for March closed higher by $0.049 at $22.989 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.4720 per pound, up 0.0795 from the previous session.

China reported its highest daily rise in local Covid-19 cases in 21 months over the weekend, pushing regions into lockdowns and tighter social restrictions.

Britain, where Omicron is the dominant variant, has been reporting more than 100,000 cases in a single day. France has also reported cases above that figure for the first time.

In the United States, the Omicron variant’s daily cases have breached those of the Delta wave.

Crude Oil Futures Recover After Early Weakness, Settle Sharply Higher

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Monday, as prices rebounded after early weakness amid hopes the Omicron variant of the coronavirus will not any significantly impact global economic recovery.

Prices drifted lower earlier in the day, reacting to news about cancellation of over 1,300 flights by the U.S. airlines over the weekend. According to reports, airlines across the world cancelled nearly 8,000 flights over the three-day Christmas weekend due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended up by $1.78 or about 2.4% at $75.57 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were up $2.37 or about 3.1% at $78.16 a barrel a little while ago.

China reported its highest daily rise in local Covid-19 cases in 21 months over the weekend, pushing regions into lockdowns and tighter social restrictions.

Britain, where Omicron is the dominant variant, has been reporting more than 100,000 cases in a single day. France has also reported cases above that figure for the first time.

In the United States, the Omicron variant’s daily cases have breached those of the Delta wave.

Investors await the outcome of the talks between world powers and Iran on the nuclear deal.

The OPEC and its allies are scheduled to meet on January 4 to decide on a planned 400,000 barrels per day production increase.

‘Foxconn plant to stay shut for three more days’

Protests sparked week-long closure

Apple supplier Foxconn’s plant near Chennai will stay shut for three more days, a senior government official said, extending a week-long closure following workers’ protests sparked by a food-poisoning incident.

The plant is expected to start production with 1,000 workers on December 30, according to the person close to the matter who was not authorised to speak with media and declined to be identified.

A separate government source had said last week that the plant was closed on December 18 and was expected to remain shut until December 26. The gates of the factory, which is on the outskirts of Chennai, were open on Monday morning and some vehicles were moving in and out but the area was mostly deserted.

The plant makes iPhone 12 models, and media reports have said Apple had started trial production of its flagship iPhone13 at the factory recently.

SpaceX Satellites Nearly Collided With Chinese Space Station

China has sent a note to the United Nations complaining about satellites launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which nearly collided with the Chinese space station on two separate occasions in 2021.

The satellites from Starlink Internet Services, a unit of SpaceX, had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21 potentially putting the “life or health of astronauts” on board in danger. The space station was forced to take evasive action to avoid collision.

“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” China said in a document published on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

The small satellites involved in the alleged incidents were among nearly 2,000 satellites launched by Starlink Internet Services division. The satellites provides internet services to customers in remote areas.

Musk and SpaceX faced online backlash in China after the new was reported by Chinese state-owned media.

“The possibility cannot be ruled out that Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) is trying to test China’s capability and response awareness in space,” Global Times China reported.