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ASX slumps, wages expected to remain subdued

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·Contributing editor
·4-min read
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Here's what you can expect from finance markets for Wednesday. Source: Getty
Here's what you can expect from finance markets for Wednesday. Source: Getty

Good morning.

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

ASX: It looks set to be another disappointing 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 74 points or 1.05 per cent lower this morning.

Wall Street: It was a poor night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones fall 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 drop 0.85 per cent and the Nasdaq fall 0.55 per cent.

AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7794 to the US dollar as at 9am this morning.

Gold: Gold miners will be on watch after the gold price edged higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.1 per cent to US$1,869.40 an ounce. The precious metal is now closing in on a four-month high.

Oil: Energy producers could fall on Wednesday after oil prices softened. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 1.2 per cent to US$65.49 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 1.05 per cent to US$68.74 a barrel. Oil prices touched on two-month highs before giving back their gains.

Crypto: Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies slumped after the People’s Bank of China reiterated that the digital tokens cannot be used as a form of payment. The largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 5.3 per cent in New York, continuing a week-long slide sparked by Elon Musk’s back-and-forth comments on Tesla Inc.’s holdings of the coin. Bitcoin is now at its lowest level since early February. Ether and Dogecoin also slumped.

$50: Some lucky Australians may be in for an unexpected windfall, after a popular TikToker prompted Aussies to check their wallets for a $50 banknote that could be worth much, much more than that. “Here’s a $50 note, that could get you between $70 and $1,500,” TikToker The History of Money said in a recent video.

Travel: Australians want to see a phased reopening of international borders, but remain concerned about the risk of state border closures disrupting domestic travel. They are two of the findings from new research commissioned by the Australian Airports Association, as debate rages about the management of borders.

Wage growth: Economists expect wage pressures remained subdued in the first three months of the year, even as the economy rebounded strongly and unemployment fell faster than many had predicted. Wednesday's release of the wage price index for the March quarter - a key gauge used by the Reserve Bank and Treasury to measure wages growth - is forecast to rise by 0.

Public sector cuts: The Victorian Greens are urging the government not to make further cuts to the public sector as part of its efforts to repair the state's COVID-ravaged budget. Last week, Treasurer Tim Pallas confirmed the guaranteed annual increase of taxpayer-funded jobs will be cut from 3 per cent to 2 per cent from 2022. Teachers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police officers and the public service are among the workers who will be affected.

NSW energy jobs: It's full steam ahead for a new gas-fired power plant in the NSW Hunter Valley which the federal government says will keep energy prices low while ensuring the lights stay on. Government-owned Snowy Hydro Limited has been given up to $600 million to construct a 660MW open cycle gas turbine at Kurri Kurri, on the site of an old aluminium smelter. Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the project would create up to 600 new jobs during peak construction and 1200 indirect jobs across NSW.

ETFs: Aussies under the age of 40 accounted for around two thirds of new ETF investors in 2020, new research found. The BetsShares Investment Trends ETF report found millennial investors are a growing cohort in Australia.

Have a great day.

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