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ASX bounces back amid 'DobSeeker' proposal and AusPost scandal

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Samantha Menzies
·Contributing editor
·5-min read
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ASX to bounce back today. Source: Getty
ASX to bounce back today. Source: Getty

Good morning.

Here's everything you need to know about finance markets for today.

ASX: The Australian share market looks set to bounce back on Tuesday following a solid night start to the week on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 10 points or 0.15 per cent higher this morning.

Wall Street: In the United States, the Dow Jones dropped 0.2 per cent but the S&P 500 rose 0.2 per cent and the Nasdaq climbed 0.9 per cent to a record close on Monday.

Oil: According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.35 per cent to US$61.92 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 0.7 per cent to US$65.67 a barrel. Oil prices dropped after surging COVID-19 cases in India sparked fuel demand concerns.

Gold: According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.2 per cent to US$1,780.80 an ounce. Gold was up and down during the session ahead of the US Federal Reserve meeting later this week.

Tech shares: According to The Motley Fool, Australian tech shares, including Afterpay and Zip Co, will be worth watching closely today. This follows a very positive night of trade on the tech-focused Nasdaq index. The Nasdaq was the standout performer and hit a record close ahead of major earnings updates by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Tesla this week.

Dobseeker: Australia’s employment minister has been forced to defend a controversial new hotline encouraging bosses to dob in people for rejecting work. The employer reporting line has divided members of the coalition, with Liberal MP Bridget Archer arguing it demonises those without a job. The hotline allows employers to dob in jobseekers for rejecting work, behaving badly in interviews, missing appointments or voluntarily quitting their job.

AusPost audit twist: An audit of Australia Post expenses has revealed ex-boss Ahmed Fahour also approved the purchase of expensive watches during his tenure. Around $7,000 was spent on luxury pens and smart watches for executives during Fahour’s seven years as the boss. The six smart watches were worth $579 each, while there was $2,400 spent on a farewell gift for departing chair David Mortimer. Another $1,108 was spent for another reward pen.

AusPost board: Australia Post's entire board will be hauled before a parliamentary committee with senators set to grill directors over Liberal Party ties. The Senate inquiry is probing former chief executive Christine Holgate's controversial departure following a luxury watches scandal.

Funding cliff: Women's shelters and other crisis accommodation services are sounding the alarm over a looming funding cliff, as federal and state and territory governments fight over who should cover workers' wages. The strapped homelessness sector says it's set to lose $56 million in funding unless governments reach an agreement before the end of the financial year.

COVID support: The NSW shadow treasurer has slammed the Berejiklian government for the state's poor economic performance during the coronavirus pandemic. The latest quarterly state of the states report compiled by Commonwealth Securities found NSW languishing in seventh position among the eight states and territories.

Power bills: Hundreds of thousands of households and small businesses are expected to save on their electricity bills with the introduction of a new government-enforced price limit. The Australian Energy Regulator sets caps for what power giants can charge customers on default standing offer contracts. The new lower price begins from July and will result in savings of up to $116 for households and $441 for small businesses.

State economies: For the fifth quarter in a row Tasmania has had the best performing economy according to CommSec’s State of the States report. The ACT remains in second place, but Western Australia showed the biggest improvement jumping into third place from sixth last quarter. Victoria has shifted into fourth position, followed by South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and then the Northern Territory.

Gender pay gap: Unions have challenged the Morrison government to deliver a budget for women with a suite of measures to close the gender pay gap and improve safety. While last year's economic blueprint faced widespread criticism due to a lack of measures targeted at women, gender issues are now in even sharper focus after sexual assault allegations rocked federal politics.

Job interview: Job interviews can be tricky, but there’s one question in particular that can stump candidates: “How much do you expect for your salary?” Go in too low and you risk setting yourself up for a lower salary than you deserve. But how do you know where the sweet spot is when it comes to negotiating your salary? Here's how to answer.

AU confidence: Confidence among Australians has remained fairly robust in the face of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 outbreaks and the troubled vaccine rollout. This upbeat mood has resulted in increased retail spending, which some economists expect will be the mainstay of economic growth this year. The latest weekly measure of consumer confidence will be released today.

Facebook partnership: Facebook announced last week an expanded partnership with streaming music service Spotify that would bring a new way to listen to music or podcasts directly within Facebook's app, which it called Project Boombox. 

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