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ASX jumps as huge COVID-19 vaccination debate ignites

·Contributing editor
·2-min read
CBA, Westpac will begin a pilot program for employee vaccinations using AstraZeneca. Source: Getty/Yahoo Finance
CBA, Westpac will begin a pilot program for employee vaccinations using AstraZeneca. Source: Getty/Yahoo Finance

Good morning.

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

ASX: The Australian share market is expected to push higher on Wednesday following a strong night on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 12 points or 0.15 per cent higher this morning. 

Global markets: Wall St's main indexes closed higher thanks to gains in Apple and healthcare stocks. The Dow Jones rose 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 rose 0.82 per cent. The Nasdaq added 0.55 per cent. Meanwhile, European markets are higher after a bumper round of company financial results. The FTSE 100 has risen 0.4 per cent by the closing bell. The DAX was down 0.1 per cent and the CAC rose 0.7 per cent.

Aussie dollar: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7394 to the US dollar as at 7am this morning.

Bitcoin: The price of bitcoin tumbled almost 5 per cent in the past 24 hours, dropping below $54,000 per coin again after reaching as high as $57,800 over the weekend, after harsh new tax rules left investors spooked.

Vaccine debate: Labor has ignited a public debate over incentives to get vaccinated for COVID-19 with its plan for $300 one-off payments. Australian doctors have come out in support of Labor’s pitch to pay every fully vaccinated person $300, describing it as an “excellent proposal”. Labor leader Anthony Albanese unveiled the plan on Tuesday, claiming the payments would incentivise all Australians to get vaccinated before 1 December but it was shunned by the Morrison govt.

CBA, Westpac jabs: Commonwealth Bank and Westpac will begin a pilot program for employee vaccinations using AstraZeneca following an agreement with the federal government’s vaccine task force leader, Lieutenant General ­Frewen. The banks are considering starting the rollout for some 12,000 bank staff and their families in the eight Sydney local government areas that have been deemed hot spots, when they can access vaccines, potentially in the next week or so.

RBA: The Reserve Bank kept the cash rate on hold for August at yesterday's meeting, amid a worsening COVID-19 impact. RBA governor Philip Lowe said while the country’s economic recovery has been stronger than expected, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has interrupted recovery and GDP is expected to decline in the September quarter but that he is optimistic about the outlook for 2022.

True lockdown cost: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed yesterday that tough stage four lockdowns are costing the Australian economy $3.2 billion per week, or around $19.1 million an hour, but failure to lockdown early triggers even greater costs.

Have a great day.

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