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ASX to rise as wholesale electricity costs hit record highs

·3-min read
ASX and energy
ASX headed for gains as energy customers were told to brace for sky-high energy bills. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local market is set to rise following another positive session on Wall Street.

Yesterday, the local share market rallied to its highest level in six weeks after hints the US might take a break from its campaign to hike interest rates.

Wall Street: US stocks have rallied for a second day as data showing a contraction in the US economy for the second straight quarter raised investor speculation the Federal Reserve may not need to be as aggressive with interest rate hikes as some had thought.

GDP: The US economy has unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter, with consumer spending growing at its slowest pace in two years and business spending declining.

The second straight quarterly decline in gross domestic product reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday largely reflected a more moderate pace of inventory accumulation by businesses because of ongoing shortages of motor vehicles.

Energy prices: Coal-fired power station outages, turning on expensive gas-fired plants to plug the gap, and steep global fuel prices are driving Australia's record energy costs, the latest data shows.

The Australian Energy Market Operator's report issued today confirmed unprecedented wholesale prices, which were flowing through to households and businesses.

Record wholesale electricity prices averaged $264 per megawatt-hour, more than triple the previous quarter and up $179/MWh - or 210 per cent - on a year earlier, the Quarterly Energy Dynamics report found.

Medicare: Improving access to GPs, medicine affordability and health outcomes for Indigenous Australians will be on the agenda for the first meeting of a new task force.

Health Minister Mark Butler will chair the Strengthening Medicare Task Force meeting in Sydney today, which will bring together health experts and policy leaders from across the country.

Job seekers: A Greens senator is calling for the Government to extend a suspension on Workforce Australia payment penalties and to focus on fixing the country's "broken" welfare system.

Greens senator Janet Rice tabled a 31,000-person-strong petition, asking for the suspension to be stretched to 90 days, up from the initial 30-day period.

Grain shipment: United Nations aid chief Martin Griffiths said he was hopeful the first shipment of grain from a Ukrainian Black Sea port could take place imminently but "crucial" details for the safe passage of vessels were still being worked out.

The agreement aims to allow safe passage for grain shipments in and out of Ukrainian ports, blockaded by Russia since its invasion.

Aged care: More than 800 extra nurses will be needed to ensure all aged care homes have round-the-clock access, Federal Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells has confirmed.

Mining: Morrison government approval for contentious mine expansion works in Tasmanian rainforest has been set aside by a judge who ruled the green light was given in error.

Majority Chinese-owned MMG wanted to build a new tailings storage dam at Rosebery on the state's west coast, something it said was needed to ensure its base metals mine could operate beyond 2024.

Green shipping: A new study will examine whether "clean" ammonia could fuel traffic through Western Australia's immense marine-export terminals.

Its potential use as a marine fuel could help to decarbonise shipping, which accounts for 2-3 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

-With AAP

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