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ASX drops as COVID-19 outbreak continues to spiral

·Contributing editor
·3-min read


Here's everything you need to know about finance markets for today. Source: Getty
Here's everything you need to know about finance markets for 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 edge lower on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 4 points or 0.1 per cent lower this morning.

Wall Street: The Dow and S&P 500 have fallen as investors took profits in some of the groups tied most closely to economic growth while the Nasdaq edged higher to another closing record. Bank stocks fell as US Treasuries rallied, with the 10-year yield hitting its lowest level since February 24.

AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7489 to the US dollar as at 7am this morning.

Oil: Energy producers could tumble on Wednesday after oil prices sank overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 1.9 per cent to US$73.73 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 3 per cent to US$74.86 a barrel. Oil prices hit a six-year high before turning negative. This follows news that OPEC has postponed its production talks indefinitely.

Gold: It could be a good day for gold miners after the gold price pushed higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.75 per cent to US$1,796.70 an ounce. Falling bond yields gave the precious metal a boost.

Cryptocurrency: After a bearish start to the week, the crypto majors found much-needed support yesterday. Bitcoin was up by 0.67 per cent to $33,897.0, Bitcoin Cash was down by 3.72 per cent and Litecoin down 0.89%. It’s been a bullish day for the rest of the majors, however.

COVID-19 vaccine: Employees could start receiving coronavirus vaccinations at work within months under a push to include businesses in the immunisation rollout. Major companies have put their hands up to administer jabs using workplace flu vaccination schemes already in place. The news comes as NSW's outbreak continues to spiral out of control and the city's lockdown extended another week.

Cyber attack: The ransomware attack centred on the Florida information technology firm Kaseya seems to have inflicted only "minimal damage" on American businesses, President Joe Biden says. "It appears to have caused minimal damage to US businesses, but we're still gathering information," Biden told reporters on Tuesday following a briefing from advisers.

Mortgage rate holiday: Potential home buyers and their lenders will have to factor in bigger mortgage payments, even though official rates are unlikely to rise until 2024.The Reserve Bank board has made it clear that any decision to pull the rate trigger will be dictated by progress on wages and inflation, which are still depressed.

Telstra refund: Telstra will be refunding $25 million to customers after a regulator determined it misled customers about their internet speeds. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said Telstra did not properly inform around 50,000 people that the maximum internet speeds on their plans were not attainable.

China and Australia: White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell has criticised China's approach to Australia, adding that it was possible for China and United States to coexist in peace but the challenge was enormous. Campbell told the Asia Society think tank US President Joe Biden will host a summit later this year with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan - the so-called "Quad" group that the US sees as a means of standing up to China's government.

TAS Labor: For the second time in six weeks, Tasmania's Labor opposition will consider their options for a leader. The state party will hold a caucus meeting on Wednesday after David O'Byrne recently announced his intention to resign from the role in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

Have a great day.

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