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ASX up, gas price caps and 4 other things to start your day

The doctor crisis is reaching a boiling point and China may not be the world's most populous nation anymore.

A composite image of the ASX board showing company price changes and a gas stove top.
The ASX is expected to open higher this morning as the ACCC tries to clear confusion on gas price caps. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local share market is expected to rise this morning despite a mixed session on Wall Street overnight.

Price caps: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has tried to clear up confusion by providing guidelines to help gas companies better understand their obligations under the temporary price cap of $12 per gigajoule.

The ACCC also confirmed it would investigate producers that might be trying to avoid supplying gas below the price cap under the cover of confusion.

Doctor, doctor: The costs of running general practices are becoming too much to bear, doctors have warned, with a lack of government support forcing them to close or charge patients more.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said a "comprehensive revamp" of Medicare was needed to make local clinics more viable, and blamed Medicare rebates being frozen or subject to modest increases.

Going green: Most executives increased their investment in sustainability over the past year, with a Deloitte survey finding 82 per cent had been personally impacted by climate events, including extreme heat and powerful storms.

The Deloitte survey of more than 2,000 executives across 24 countries - including 105 in Australia - found pressures to spend more on decarbonisation were expected to grow.

Worker crisis: Mature-age job seekers and people with disabilities are among thousands of Australians struggling to re-enter the workforce despite low unemployment.

While the low unemployment rate is a positive sign, experts say some Australians are being left behind.

Nearly half a million people are unemployed while more than 95,000 face barriers to work such as a lack of recent experience or qualifications.

Ageing population: China's population fell last year for the first time in six decades, a historic turn that is expected to mark the start of a long period of decline with profound implications for its economy and the world.

The country's National Bureau of Statistics reported a drop of roughly 850,000 people for a population of 1.4 billion in 2022, marking the first decline since 1961, the last year of China's Great Famine. The decline possibly makes India the world's most populous nation.

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