Here's everything you need to know about finance markets for today.
ASX: The Australian share market looks set to bounce back on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 18 points or 0.25 per cent higher this morning.
Wall Street: The S&P 500 has ended little changed after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was still a ways away from considering raising interest rates. The Nasdaq ended sharply higher, with shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc hitting an all-time high as a surge in advertising spending helped it post record quarterly results.
EU stocks: European markets were mixed on Wednesday as earnings season kicked off in earnest, with a slew of banks reporting results alongside other big hitters. In London the FTSE 100 was up 0.3 per cent by the closing bell, having seen few changes throughout the day. Germany's DAX was up 0.3 per cent and France's CAC headed 1 per cent higher following a day of losses.
Oil: Energy producers could have a positive day after oil prices pushed higher overnight. The WTI crude oil price is up 0.8 per cent to US$72.20 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 0.1 per cent to US$74.55 a barrel. Oil prices pushed higher after US inventories declined.
Gold: It could be a good day for gold miners after the gold price rose overnight. The spot gold price is up 0.35 per cent to US$1,806.7 an ounce. The gold price rose after the US Federal Reserve kept rates on hold at near zero.
Crypto: A continuing recovery in Bitcoin has put the largest cryptocurrency on course for its longest winning streak this year. The virtual coin rose as much as 6.1 per cent to top $40,000 and was trading at about $39,700 as of 8:15 a.m. in London on Wednesday. It’s advanced for eight straight days. Other coins including second-ranked Ether climbed, boosting the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index.
Lockdowns: Scott Morrison has raised expectations lockdowns will not be needed next year if all Australians are offered coronavirus vaccines. The prime minister believes all people who want a jab will have the chance to receive one by year's end, barring unforeseen circumstances.
GDP slump: The Australian economy is facing its biggest jolt since the depths of last year's recession with the Sydney lockdown extended until the end of August. Economists have further downgraded their forecasts for the national economy in the September quarter, expecting it to head towards a steep contraction.
$38bn health problem: Loneliness is a problem with a billion faces: everyone now knows someone who was - or still is - stranded overseas, unable to see their family. Or you might be a single person living alone in Sydney, who - up until now - had their contact with other people limited to a socially distanced walk. Either way, it's costing global economies $38 billion.
Bill Gates: The world’s fifth-richest man and philanthropist wants to draw your attention to what he describes as a fatal health crisis (that isn’t COVID-19). “Living without a toilet is more than an inconvenience. It’s dangerous. Unsafe sanitation means contaminated water, soil, and food. It causes illness and death,” Gates wrote in his latest blog post.
Crypto in AU: Stats show around one-in-six (17 per cent) Australians own cryptocurrency, and the figure is rising year-on-year as investments like Bitcoin and Ethereum grow in popularity. But, with Bitcoin prices currently in an upswing, what does the future hold for cryptocurrency in Australia? Find out what we can expect here.
Have a great day.