(Bloomberg) -- Stocks are set to start the week with caution amid ongoing concerns about slowing growth in the world’s largest economies.

Futures were flat in Japan, while they fell in Australia and in Hong Kong earlier. The S&P 500 dropped for a seventh straight week in a stretch of weakness not seen since 2001, though narrowly avoided sinking into a bear market.

The dollar traded within tight ranges versus major currencies early Monday in Asia. The Australian dollar gained after a weekend election delivered a clear outcome, with Labor ousting the Liberal-National coalition. Treasuries advanced Friday, pushing the 10-year yield below 2.8% as traders debate the Federal Reserve’s tightening path amid mounting worries about an economic slowdown.

In China, traders will watch if stocks can maintain gains after Chinese banks cut a key interest rate for long-term loans by a record amount as a property slump and Covid lockdowns weigh on the economy.

Investors are grappling with concerns about an economic slowdown and prospects for more monetary tightening. The war in Ukraine is fanning commodity price shortages and supply chains remain disrupted by China’s adherence to its Covid zero policy. 

“As macro-economic concerns stemming from aggressive monetary tightening, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and China’s stringent Covid lockdowns persist, we anticipate great volatility in the market,” Louise Dudley, portfolio manager global equities at Federated Hermes Ltd., said in a note.

Minutes of the most recent Fed rate-setting meeting will give markets insight this week into the US central bank’s tightening path. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the central bank should front-load an aggressive series of rate hikes to push rates to 3.5% at year’s end, which if successful would push down inflation and could lead to easing in 2023 or 2024.

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 was little changed Friday
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3%
  • Nikkei 225 futures were little changed
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures fell 0.2%
  • Hang Seng Index futures fell 1.5% earlier

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%
  • The euro was at $1.0563
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 127.92 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan was at 6.6998 per dollar

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined six basis points to 2.78%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $113.23 a barrel
  • Gold was at $1,846.50 an ounce

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