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ASX flat, RBA day and 5 other things to start your day

The Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe and the ASX board showing company price changes.
The ASX is prepared for a dull start to the morning as Aussies wait for the RBA's interest rate decision. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local share market is expected to remain subdued at the open today after a relatively good session on Wall Street overnight.

Rate pain: It’s many people’s least favourite day of the month - it’s the day the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meets to make a decision on the official cash rate.

The RBA is tipped to hike interest rates by 0.25 per cent today, this would be the 10th rate hike in succession and inflict further pain on already-stretched Australian households.

Rent crisis: Cheap rentals are rapidly disappearing from Australia's major capital cities as demand for rentals shifts back to urban centres.

PropTrack data shows the share of rentals advertised on property site across the capitals for less than $400 has sunk from 31.5 per cent in February 2022 to 14.6 per cent last month.

In debt: Speaking of housing, a rising number of Aussies said their student debts were hampering their ability to buy a home.

The average HECS-Help debt is $22,636, with the bulk of graduates carrying their debt into their 30s and over half still carrying their debt into their 40s.

Financial pressure: Leading charities have warned of an increase in homeless people being turned away from shelters unless the government steps in to fill a budget black hole.

More than 200 charities and homelessness services have written an open letter to the federal government urging further funding for wage supplements, which are at risk of running out.

‘Act white’: Culturally and racially marginalised women are failing to benefit from gender equity initiatives like International Women's Day, which unfairly favour white women.

In a new survey by Diversity Council Australia, 66 per cent of respondents said they felt they had to "act white" to get ahead.

Diplomacy: Anthony Albanese is going into bat for Australian businesses and educators as he heads to India for an innings with Narendra Modi.

Albanese will lead a business delegation of representatives from sectors including mining, energy, aviation, education and finance as well as the trade and resources ministers to discuss renewable energy and defence co-operation.

The prime minister said a stronger relationship with India would benefit the entire region.

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