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ASX to open higher, AUD down, companies set for insolvency

Samantha Menzies
·Contributing editor
·2-min read
The Australian Finance And Economy.
The Australian Finance And Economy.

Good morning.

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

ASX: Australian stocks are tipped to open higher even despite Wall Street's weakness overnight. ASX futures were up 56 points or 0.8 per cent to 6766 near 7am AEDT.

Wall Street: US Stocks fell for a second day and Treasury yields touched a 14-month high as traders weighed the consequences of more stimulus from the Biden administration. The utilities, information technology and consumer staples sectors pushed the benchmark S&P 500 lower, though financial shares recovered from Monday’s slide in the wake of the implosion of Archegos Capital Management.

AUD: The Australian dollar is currently trading at 0.79533 to the US dollar, representing a 0.05 per cent decline.

JobKeeper: At least 5000 businesses are likely set for closure in the next three months following the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy and as rules around trading while insolvent return to normal. Credit reporting agency CreditorWatch chief executive Patrick Coghlan says he is not expecting the tsunami of insolvencies that was talked about last year, but argues companies need to be allowed fail.

JobSeeker: Tens of thousands more people face falling below the poverty line as the coronavirus supplement to the JobSeeker dole payment comes to end on Wednesday. An analysis commissioned by the left-leaning Australia Institute says scrapping the already reduced coronavirus supplement and replacing it with a $50 per fortnight increase in the JobSeeker base rate on April 1 represents a $100 per fortnight cut for those currently on the dole.

Suez Canal cost: The immediate crisis of the Suez Canal blockage may have ended, but the battle over damages from the waterway’s longest closure in almost half a century is just beginning.

The long-term cost of the canal’s estimated $10-billion-a-day closure will likely be small, given that global merchandise trade amounts to $18 trillion a year. Yet with cargoes delayed for weeks if not months, the blockage could unleash a flood of claims by everyone affected, from the shipping lines to manufacturers and oil producers.

Electric cars: Up to 100,000 houses would receive power from community batteries under a Labor plan to slash power bills and reduce carbon emissions. An elected Albanese government would pump $400 million into installing 400 batteries around Australia.

Smart devices: More people than ever are bringing smart devices into their homes. But how do we make sure those cameras aren't watching our every move when we're home? Some of us have resorted to the tried and true trick of putting tape over the cameras on our devices, while others turn them around when they’re not in use.

Have a great day.

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