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ASX slumps as Bitcoin recovers, PM sets out Budget and vaccine plan

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·Contributing editor
·3-min read
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ASX, Bitcoin, Oil, Gold: Here's what's ahead for markets today. Source: Getty
ASX, Bitcoin, Oil, Gold: Here's what's ahead for markets today. Source: Getty

Good morning.

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

ASX: The Australian share market looks set to trade lower on Tuesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 27 points or 0.4 per cent lower this morning, dragged down by Us stocks.

Wall St: US stocks have closed lower, slipping from last week's record levels, as investors awaited guidance from first-quarter earnings to justify high valuations while Tesla Inc shares fell after a fatal car crash.

AUD: According to Daily FX, the Australian dollar is trading at 0.77454 to the US dollar as at 7.35am.

Oil: According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.5 per cent to US$63.43 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 0.5 per cent to US$67.11 a barrel.

Gold: According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.5 per cent to US$1,770.70 an ounce. Rising bond yields knocked the precious metal off its seven-week high.

Bitcoin: Bitcoin prices have recovered recently, climbing more than 10 per cent from their recent low, after suffering a notable decline over the weekend. The world’s most prominent digital currency reached as much as $57,609.37 this morning, CoinDesk data shows.

Budget: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government's May 11 budget will serve as "stage two" of its post-coronavirus recovery plan, following on from the 2020 budget handed down in October. In a speech to the Business Council of Australia on Monday night, Morrison said the pandemic and associated government initiatives such as JobKeeper had not changed his government's desire for business-led economic growth.

Economy: RBA governor Philip Lowe said at the April meeting that the cash rate would not be hiked until inflation was comfortably within the two to three per cent target band, an event unlikely to occur until 2024 at the earliest. "Despite Australia's stunning economic recovery, we are still a long way off meeting the conditions necessary for the RBA to increase the cash rate," St George economist Matthew Bunny said.

Jobs: The COVID-19 pandemic has driven huge demand for website creators, agricultural plant operators and pharmacists, new data analysis has revealed. There were 15,000 more people in multimedia manager and web developer roles in February 2021 compared to the 12 months prior, according to expert analysis of ABS figures, representing a surge of 292 per cent. And that's not all. Here are the jobs that benefitted from COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccinations: Australia's COVID-19 vaccination program is expected to undergo a "big reset" with details to be announced later this week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with state and territory leaders on Monday for national cabinet, with a further meeting scheduled for Thursday.

Investing: Caitlin Lawrence is a 24-year-old professional woman living in Sydney started investing around this time last year after realising just how low the interest rates on her saving accounts were. Her advice to her peers is simple and straightforward: just start now.

Happiness: The global pandemic and economic turmoil has caused 12 solid months of lockdowns, uncertainty, job losses and even death, but an annual report on global happiness suggests that while anxiety and fear are at an all-time high, the pandemic hasn’t dampened spirits. Here are the 20 happiest countries for 2021.

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