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ASX to open flat as National Cabinet meets to discuss freedoms

·2-min read
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Good morning – and happy Friday. Here's everything you need to know in Australia today.

ASX: Australia is set for a flat but hopeful start to the day after Wall Street ended the day in negative territory. SPI Futures is predicting the ASX will open 0.25 per cent in the green.

Wall Street: All three major bourses struggled overnight and spent most of the day in the red. The Dow Jones fell by 0.18 per cent, while the S&P 500 dropped by 0.16 per cent. Meanwhile, NASDAQ wound up 0.13 per cent in the green.

AUD: The Aussie dollar is a little lower this morning, at US$0.73.

AUKUS: This new alliance have informed the UN atomic watchdog, tasked with keeping track of nuclear materials in countries, of their new partnership that'll help Australia acquire nuclear submarines.

The new group is also facing backlash, from China (no surprises there), France, as well as a swathe of dismayed climate experts. Paul Keating also isn't a fan, according to the AFR.

How does NZ feel about it? NZ PM Jacinda Ardern has sent a pretty clear and blunt message: if we get nuclear-powered subs, we're not welcome. “Certainly they couldn’t come into our internal waters,” she said as reported by news.com.au. “No vessels that are partially or fully powered by nuclear energy is able to enter our internal borders.”

All about China: The Asian superpower wants to join the party, if the party is the free trade agreement signed in 2018 by 11 countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan and New Zealand.

You might know it by its previous name the TTP, and for the fact that it's seen as an economic counterweight to China's growing regional influence.

Meanwhile, Trade Minister Dan Tehan has asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to set up a dispute settlement panel to deal with all the trade bans China has whacked on Australia. Here's what Minister Tehan said last night.

National Cabinet: Australia's leaders are meeting today, the first time in a fortnight. High on the agenda is the national plan to transition out of lockdowns and the vaccine rollout.

Epidemiology, vaccine take-up levels, the ongoing coronavirus situation in NSW and the national COVID plan will be among the main items discussed at the meeting. More here.

Are you in Melbourne and looking forward to Picnic Day this weekend? Enjoy it, but please "do the right thing," Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has urged. As restrictions ease, he said police won't be going from park to park to check the vaccination status of picnic-goers.

"There's a degree of good faith in this," Andrews told reporters.

Have a great day.

–with AAP

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