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ASX to fall as ship causes incredible traffic jam

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
In this photo released by the Suez Canal Authority, a boat navigates in front of a massive cargo ship, named the Ever Green, rear, sits grounded Wednesday, March 24, 2021, after it turned sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal, blocking traffic in a crucial East-West waterway for global shipping. An Egyptian official warned Wednesday it could take at least two days to clear the ship. (Suez Canal Authority via AP)
That's a big problem. (Suez Canal Authority via AP)

Good morning,

There’s a ship stuck in the Suez Canal and the cashless debit card has returned. Let’s get into it.

ASX: The ASX is expected to open lower on Thursday after a soft lead from Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed up by 33.4 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 6778.8 on Wednesday.

The All Ordinaries closed higher by 27.3 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 7013.9.

Wall Street: The S&P 500 closed lower on Wednesday local time, despite Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell flagging a “very, very strong year” ahead. Apple, Facebook and Tesla led the S&P tumble.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.09 points, or 0.0095 per cent, to 32,420.06, the S&P 500 lost 21.37 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 3,889.15 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 265.81 points, or 2.01 per cent, to 12,961.89.

Suez Canal: A mega-ship has gotten itself wedged in the major Suez Canal shipping channel, posing logistics headaches for vaccine and oil carriers around the world. Here’s what’s going on.

‘Too old’: A job seeker who was told he was “too old” at 61 to work in construction has won his case against the Sydney construction firm. The company will now need to compensate him, after reportedly bursting out laughing when the man told them his age.

Jobless rate: Even the Reserve Bank of Australia is surprised at how quickly the jobless rate is falling. The unemployment rate fell from 6.3 per cent to 5.8 per cent over February.

"The unemployment rate has come down faster than we would have thought by this time than we did six months, nine months ago and we are hoping that trend continues," Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle told senators in Canberra.

Farmers’ woes: Australia’s farmers have been pushed to the edge by drought, bushfire and now floods, with tens of millions of dollars in cattle now lost. Avocado farmers have also had a really rough time of it and are now concerned water-logged trees will die.

Cashless welfare: The cashless debit card scheme will begin taking new entrants, despite heavy criticism from the Labor party, the Greens and social welfare advocates. It’s been described as racist, punitive and ineffective.

Have a great day and enjoy the sun, Sydney.

With AAP.