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ASX up, retail therapy thrives and 5 other things to start your day

A composite image of the ASX board showing company price changes and Australian shoppers outside a Westfield.
The ASX is expected to rise today and Aussies have been hitting the shops to feel better. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local share market is expected to rise this morning after US stocks staged their first notable rally of 2023 over the weekend.

Retail therapy: Aussies are splashing their cash on travel and online goods as a way to escape the doom and gloom of the economic downturn, a new survey has found.

WeMoney's annual purchase-intent survey found three quarters of Aussies did not feel confident about the economy but about half were planning to spend more than $6,000 on travel this year and more than 50 per cent spent more online in 2022 than they did the year before.

Diplomacy: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his visit to Papua New Guinea next week would hopefully help boost ties with Australia's immediate neighbour and promote "friendship" within the Pacific community.

Albanese will become the first political leader outside of PNG to address the island nation's parliament in the capital Port Moresby on Thursday.

Price cuts: Australia’s two most popular electric cars just got cheaper, after Tesla cut prices by thousands of dollars to counter growing competition in the EV space.

Tesla trimmed as much as $3,400 from the cost of its Model Y and $3,100 from the cost of its Model 3 electric vehicles in Australia.

Stamp duty: More first homebuyers in NSW will have their stamp duty costs waived under a Labor proposal. Opposition Leader Chris Minns said he wanted more singles, couples and families realising their dream of home ownership.

The existing government program waives stamp duty on new homes valued up to $800,000 and existing homes of up to $650,000. Labor wants to raise the value cap so any property purchased - new or existing - worth up to $800,000 will have stamp duty waived.

Scoot scoot: A crackdown on e-scooter offences has led to almost 800 fines being issued by Queensland authorities since November.

Nearly 400 riders were caught without a helmet, while 161 were nabbed on prohibited roads and 52 for exceeding the speed limit. Almost 50 operators have been fined for illegally carrying a passenger and 23 have been accused of failing to stop at a red light.

Top travel: Despite fire and floods, CNN has listed Western Australia among its top travel destinations for 2023, declaring the opportunity to view an upcoming solar eclipse in Exmouth - one of the state's best-known natural resort towns - a "wonder" to be witnessed.

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