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ASX drops ahead of housing data for April

Samantha Menzies
·Contributing editor
·4-min read
Finance market update for Monday morning. Source: Getty
Finance market update for Monday morning. Source: Getty

Good morning.

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

ASX: The Australian share market looks set to start the week with a decline. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the week 7 points or 0.1 per cent lower this morning.

Wall Street: It was a poor finish to the week on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones fall 0.55 per cent, the S&P 500 drop 0.7per cent , and the Nasdaq tumble 0.85 per cent.

AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7726 to the US dollar as of 7am this morning.

Oil: According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 2.2 per cent to US$63.58 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 1.9 per cent to US$66.76 a barrel. Concerns over demand in India weighed heavily on prices.

Gold: According to CNBC, the spot gold price ended the week at US$1,767.0 an ounce.

Bitcoin: Bitcoin came off two-week highs on Sunday morning, falling as much as 2.5 per cent in London by 9.30am. On Friday, it had surpassed a closely-watch technical hurdle, which is usually a precursor to further gains. It had climbed past its price average over the past 50 days which is usually seen as a measure of momentum.

Coinbase: Strong growth in cryptocurrency could translate to big gains for Coinbase. On listing, COIN stock surged to a high of $429. This has been followed by some profit taking, and the stock currently trades at around $300. It seems that Coinbase is attractive for long-term exposure considering the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies. Company specific fundamentals also point to the stock trending higher.

Westpac: Westpac Banking Corp.’s half-year profit climbed as a continued recovery in the nation’s economy drove a further reduction in pandemic loan-loss provisions at Australia’s second-largest lender. Cash earnings rose to A$3.5 billion ($2.7 billion) in the six months through March 31, compared with A$993 million in the same period a year earlier, the Sydney-based bank said in a statement Monday.

Berkshire Hathaway AGM: Warren Buffett addressed investors around the world on Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway's 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting. In an hours-long event, the investing legend fielded questions on Berkshire's business and investment decisions, offered advice for first-time investors and touted the strength of American corporations in a characteristically optimistic tone.

Buffet dumped stocks: Warren Buffett took massive losses on Berkshire Hathaway's holdings in US airlines early in the COVID-19 pandemic so that four major US airlines could benefit from government aid without the cloud of a billionaire investor benefitting from behind the scenes. The Berkshire CEO famously loaded up on the stock of the four biggest US airline carriers in 2016 — and then unceremoniously announced in May 2020 that he'd closed out the positions at significant losses.

Budget: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to hand a substantially improved budget position than was expected just a few months ago. Deloitte Access Economics said this is the result of jobs returning after last year's recession faster than Treasury assumed, soaring iron ore prices and households' willingness to spend.

Housing boom: New house price figures will be closely monitored by new home buyers, existing owners, economists and the Reserve Bank. The latest CoreLogic home value index for April is released on Monday.

VIC emissions: Victoria's plan to halve the state's greenhouse gas emissions in just nine years will pile pressure on the Morrison government to step up its "pathetic" targets, supporters say. The state Labor government has finally revealed interim targets to reach its ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Self-driving cars: Volkswagen won't settle for off-the-shelf computing power with its self-driving cars and will design its own high-performance chips for autonomous vehicles. The automaker wouldn't build the chips themselves, but did want to own patents. The company's software division, Cariad, would expand to develop relevant expertise.

Space race: Even the Milky Way seems too small to keep the egos of tech billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk from colliding as they vie to conquer space. Musk aimed low with a recent tweet saying "can't get it up (to orbit)" in response to a post about Bezos-founded space company Blue Origin protesting NASA's choice of Musk's SpaceX team to build a module that will land the next US astronauts on the moon.

Have a great day.

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