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ASX to fall ahead of national economic report card

·2-min read
The ASX board in the background with the word COVID and Australian currency in the foreground. Prime Minister Scott Morrison looking concerned.
The local market is set to fall today as the country prepares for official GDP figures. (Source: Getty)

Good morning.

ASX: The local market is set to fall at this morning’s open after investors in the US got spooked by warnings vaccines would not be as effective on the Omicron variant.

This comes after the market started to lose its footing at the end of yesterday's trade. A late slide on the ASX came as more nations, including Australia, paused overseas arrivals due to the latest coronavirus strain.

Wall St: The Dow and the S&P 500 slipped after a warning from the CEO of vaccine maker Moderna on the effectiveness of COVID-19 shots against the Omicron variant.

Travel, energy and banking shares were hammered in late trade.

BTC: Bitcoin’s price fluctuated after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said he had no intention of banning cryptocurrencies, while India clarified it had every intention of banning cryptos.

Property update: Will house prices fall 10 per cent? Michael Yardney said the prospect of that happening was “nonsense”.

Watch the video below to find out why, or read his weekly property update.

GDP: The effects of the delta-variant lockdowns will be realised today when the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases official GDP figures.

Economists' forecasts point to an economic contraction of around 2.5 per cent in the quarter.

This comes as Australia's governments and medical experts ponder the possible impact of the new Omicron coronavirus strain.

COVID fines: NSW has increased its fines from $1,000 to $5,000 for those who fail to comply with quarantine or testing requirements.

The fine for corporations breaching requirements has also increased, from $5,000 to $10,000.

Social responsibility: Social media giants will be forced to explain what steps they're taking to keep people safe on their platforms as part of a new inquiry.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will unveil the probe, which will scrutinise big tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

Exercise in a pill?: Australian scientists are attempting to make a pill containing many of the benefits of exercise.

But it won't be medicine for lazy couch potatoes.

The futuristic therapy is designed to help immobile patients unable to exert themselves at an intensity that delivers the rewards of physical activity.

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