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ASX up, Bitcoin surges as economic recovery takes pace

·Contributing editor
·3-min read
Australia's economic recovery makes headway. Source: Getty
Australia's economic recovery makes headway. Source: Getty

Good morning.

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

ASX: The Australian share market looks set to start the week positively on Tuesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 56 points or 0.8 per cent higher this morning.

Wall Street: US stocks enjoyed a reasonably positive start to the week. The Dow Jones fell 0.25 per cent but the S&P 500 rose 0.2per cent and the Nasdaq climbed a sizeable 0.75 per cent.

AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7708 to the US dollar as at 7.15am this morning.

Oil: Energy producers could be on the move today after oil prices pushed higher. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.25 per cent to US$71.09 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 0.5 per cent to US$73.05 a barrel. Oil prices hit a two-year high on demand hopes.

Gold: Gold miners could come under pressure today after the gold price tumbled lower. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.65 per cent to US$1,867.60 an ounce. The gold price slipped amid concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve may reveal a path for scaling back its expansive monetary policy later this week.

Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin soared past the $40,000 mark again on Monday afternoon in London as American hedge fund magnate Paul Tudor Jones and Tesla boss Elon Musk threw their weight behind the cryptocurrency.

Wage theft: Young workers on Australian farms are being paid as little as $9 per day picking grapes and zucchinis, a new wage theft survey reveals. The study, conducted by Unions NSW and the Migrant Workers Centre, interviewed more than 1300 horticulture industry workers in Australia.

'Systemic' challenge: NATO leaders have designated China as presenting "systemic challenges" in a summit communique that marked a forceful stance for the Western military alliance. In a diplomatic victory for US President Joe Biden, who has urged his fellow NATO leaders to stand up to China's authoritarianism and growing military might, the final statement branded China a security risk to the Western alliance.

Vaccine boost: Confidence is growing that the bulk of Australia's COVID-19 vaccinations can be delivered by the end of the year. Health Minister Greg Hunt on Monday announced an agreement that will see GPs receive a fee for delivering jabs to the frail, elderly or immobile in their own home.

Federal parliament: Climate, coronavirus and superannuation will be key issues on the agenda for the last fortnight of federal parliament before the winter break. Prime Minister Scott Morrison won't be present for Tuesday's session, but is expected to dial in from overseas later in the sitting.

Economic recovery: Consumer spending is expected to remain a key plank of Australia's economic recovery heading into the 2021/22 financial year, although retailing growth is likely to be more modest than in the past 12 months. In its latest quarterly Retail Forecasts report, Deloitte Access Economics expects retail spending to have grown by a hefty 5.9 per cent in 2020/21, even after a 0.5 per cent decline between January and March this year.

QLD deficit: The Queensland government's deficit is set to be lower than expected as economic growth picks up in this financial year. Treasurer Cameron Dick, who hands down the budget on Tuesday, is due to reveal economic growth in 2020/21 totalled 3.25 per cent, which would be well above the forecast 0.25 per cent in December.

Have a great day.

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