MORNING BID-Lockdowns, sanctions and Mona Lisa-like NFTs


A whole year after Europe sent workers home to stop the spread of COVID-19, governments, from Germay to India, are having to extend or re-impose lockdowns.

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A look at the day ahead from Sujata Rao.

A whole year after Europe sent workers home to stop the spread of COVID-19, governments, from Germay to India, are having to extend or re-impose lockdowns.

Then there are mounting tensions between China and the West; sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses have led Beijing to slap measures against European lawmakers, diplomats, institutes and families.

The 1% fall on Chinese equities -- taking the Shenzen blue chips more than 15% off mid-February peaks -- rippled out across Asia and are also sending European and U.S. equity futures lower while Treasury and German debt prices are higher.

Investors are also watching for any contagion from the Turkish lira's 8% plunge on the more fragile emerging markets or European banks exposed to the country. The lira has steadied for now as a new central bank governor takes the helm, entrusted with cutting interest rates despite high inflation.

So policymakers today -- most prominently U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen -- should highlight the need for more stimulus spending. European Central Bank chief economist Philip Lane is already on the wires, pledging the ECB "will do its part" to keep borrowing costs ultra low.

He spoke after data showed the ECB finally upped its emergency bond-buying, with last week's 21 billion-euros tally, the second-highest daily pace since last June.

Two more things to watch for: the Treasury auctions $60 billion in two-year notes, an appetiser for the $120 billion sales of five- and seven-year notes later this week. Second, Gamestop, the video game retailer which shot to fame during the Jan-Feb retail trader mania, reports Q4 earnings.

Finally, it may be a sign of the times that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet, sold for $2.9 million on the non-fungible token market, was likened by the buyer to the Mona Lisa whose worth will become known over time.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Tuesday:

-Britain's jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 5% in the three months to January

-Credit Suisse is hit with additional EU antitrust charges

--Israelis began voting in a fourth election in two years,

-Fed speakers: St. Louis President James Bullard 1300 GMT, 2030 GMT; New York President John Williams 1845; Board Governor Lael Brainard 1945 GMT

-Philadelphia Fed non-manufacturing business outlook survey for March – 1230 GMT.

-NATO foreign ministers meet

-Israeli Knesset election

Emerging markets: Central bank meetings in Nigeria, Hungary, Morocco; Philippines kept rates on hold

-U.S. new home sales, current account Feb

-U.S 2-year note auction; 12-mth bill auction

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(Reporting by Sujata Rao; editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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