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ASX positive, loan deferrals drop, RBA sits steady

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Samantha Menzies
·Contributing editor
·3-min read
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The Australian finance markets for today. Source Getty
The Australian finance markets for today. Source Getty

Good morning.

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

ASX: It looks set to be a decent day of trade for the Australian share market on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 15 points or 0.2 per cent higher this morning.

Wall Street: It was reasonably poor night of trade on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones and S&P 500 trade flat and the Nasdaq fall 0.35 per cent.

AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7767 to the US dollar as at 7.40am this morning.

Oil: According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 2.1 per cent to US$63.22 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 1.6 per ce nt to US$66.71 a barrel. Traders were buying oil amid optimism that OPEC will not increase production due to rising COVID cases.

Gold: According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.25 per cent to US$1,775.60 an ounce. Traders appear nervous ahead of the next US Federal Reserve meeting.

Coles: The Coles Group share price will be one to watch this morning when it releases its third quarter update. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, it expects Coles to report a 3 per cent decline in comparable food sales for the quarter but a 2 per cent increase in liquor sales. This is expected to lead to total sales of $9,039.6 million, comprising food sales of $7,960.4 million and liquor sales of $802.5 million.

RBA: An expected rise in the inflation rate for the first three months of the year won't stir the Reserve Bank of Australia from its steady interest rate outlook. Wednesday's release of the March quarter consumer price index is expected to show a solid 0.

AusPost: Scott Morrison has been accused of a “calculated set-up” against Christine Holgate and faces demands to reinstate the former Australia Post CEO. Holgate left her role in November after revelations four senior executives had been gifted Cartier watches, costing around $20,000 in total. Prime Minister Scott Morrison lashed the gifts as “disgraceful” in October and said Holgate had been ordered to stand aside.

Loan deferrals: Australia's strong economic revival from last year's recession and a tumbling unemployment rate has seen the number of deferred home and business loans shrink further in March. At the height of the pandemic last year, Australian banks offered struggling families and businesses the ability to defer repayments on their loans.

Military upgrades: The federal government has earmarked almost one billion dollars to upgrade military training bases and ranges across Australia's Top End. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to travel to the Northern Territory capital of Darwin on Wednesday to announce the five-year $747 million defence infrastructure package.

Tesla: Tesla reported a jump in first-quarter profits Monday on surging electric vehicle sales, and the manufacturer said it was on track to boost automotive capacity at factories in three countries.

Travel vouchers: From Vineyards to white sandy beaches and the Great Barrier reef, local governments are issuing vouchers to entice local or interstate visitors in order to help reignite the tourism sector. Here's how to cash in your next trip in each Aussie state.

Home loans: Banks and lenders are just like magicians. But unlike pulling a rabbit out of a hat, they bamboozle you with foreign terms, difficult math and extensive terms and conditions. But never fear. We’re here to unearth the tricks of the (home loan) trade. Here are four things you need to know.

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