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ASX rises as crypto spirals and NSW COVID-19 crisis drags on

·Contributing editor
·4-min read
ASX to rise despite NSW's ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Source: Getty/Yahoo Finance
ASX to rise despite NSW's ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Source: Getty/Yahoo Finance

Good morning.

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

ASX: The Australian share market looks set to edge higher on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 8 points or 0.1 per cent higher this morning.

Wall Street: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended lower on Tuesday after hitting record highs earlier in the session, with investors digesting a jump in consumer prices in June and earnings from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs that kicked off the quarterly reporting season.

AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7491 to the US dollar as at 7am this morning.

Oil: Energy producers could rise on Wednesday after oil prices pushed higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1.6 per cent to US$75.31 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 1.8 per cent to US$76.51 a barrel. Traders were buying oil on the belief that US crude stockpiles are falling.

Gold: Gold miners will be on watch after the gold price edged higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.15 per cent to US$1,808.50 an ounce. This was despite the release of a stronger than expected US inflation report.

Cryptocurrency: The most valuable cryptocurrencies by market cap continued a downward slide on Tuesday. Bitcoin dropped to $32,804 and others followed suit.

Federal COVID-19 support: Scott Morrison has revamped federal support for states enduring long lockdowns, saying it is in the national interest to be more generous. The Sydney lockdown is expected to be extended into its fourth week on Friday as cases head towards 800 since mid-June, including two deaths.

COVID-19 cash: Residents in NSW affected by the lockdown will be eligible for payments of up to $600 a week as part of a major new support package. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the payments on Tuesday afternoon following discussions with state treasurers over the weekend, amid NSW’s worsening COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 business boost: The newest support package announced by the Prime Minister and NSW Premier has been welcomed by some Aussie businesses who have taken a hit from the recent NSW lockdowns. Business NSW said the support payments are a big boost for businesses dealing with the crippling impacts of lockdown in the Greater Sydney area.

‘Bulls**t’, PM blasted: The Federal and NSW State Governments have unveiled a new COVID-19 rescue package that increases lockdown payments to $375 and $600 – but many are frustrated about the exclusion of unemployed, insecure Aussies, and those on welfare payments.

Mining inquiry: Australia's largest mining companies will front a federal parliamentary inquiry into the gig economy to defend their hiring practices. BHP, Rio Tinto and Anglo American Australia will join the Minerals Council of Australia on an industry panel of witnesses at a parliamentary hearing today.

Foreign investment: Foreign direct investment into Australia has nearly halved largely because of the coronavirus pandemic. A Productivity Commission report says it fell from more than $56 billion in 2019 to $29 billion last year.

Business failures: The number of firms shutting up shop for the last time is on the rise, but the business landscape is still in a better position than the outlook a year ago when the economy was deep in recession. The latest CreditorWatch business risk review shows the number of businesses going into administration rose by 23 per cent in the June quarter, but that is still 21 per cent lower compared to a year earlier.

Twitter fake accounts: Twitter says it mistakenly verified some fake accounts that the social media company has now permanently suspended, months after restarting its verification program. The company in May relaunched verifications after a years-long freeze on public submissions for the site's blue check marks, saying only "notable" users would be awarded the badge.

Have a great day.

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