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ASX to drop as Labor pledges to chip in for new home purchases

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ASX and Anthony Albanese
ASX is expected to fall this morning as housing affordability becomes a key election issue. (Source: Getty)

ASX: The local market is poised to fall after Wall Street finished sharply lower and the threat of an interest rate rise intensifies.

Wall Street: US stock declines accelerated into the close on Friday as the major equity indexes ended a volatile month lower.

Shares of tech juggernaut Amazon slid after the company unexpectedly posted a quarterly loss and offered a weaker-than-expected current-quarter forecast.

Seniors: An extra 50,000 older Australians will get access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card if the Morrison Government is re-elected.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to announce an increase in the singles income test threshold - from $57,761 to around $90,000 - from July 1 this year to broaden access to the concession card.

The couples threshold will also increase from $92,416 to $144,000.

Electric vehicles: A Labor government would build more electric vehicle charging stations and establish a Driving the Nation Fund if elected in May.

Labor also introduced its Help to Buy scheme at the weekend, which would provide an equity contribution of up to 40 per cent of the purchase price of a new home, and up to 30 per cent for an existing dwelling, with buyers needing a minimum deposit of 2 per cent.

Property market: House price growth has been slowing since the spike in values last year as potential home buyers face stretched affordability, rising fixed-rate mortgages and a tightening in lending criteria.

This week, first-time buyers and home owners are set to face another challenge - rising variable mortgage rates - with the Reserve Bank of Australia widely tipped to start lifting the cash rate from emergency pandemic levels.

Ukraine conflict: The US plans to add a $47 billion (US$33 billion) Ukraine aid package to allow the United States to seize Russian oligarchs' assets and send money from their sale directly to Ukraine.

Buffett’s advice: Invest in yourself to reap rewards even when inflation bites, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and chairman Warren Buffett said during the company's annual shareholders meeting on Saturday.

"If you're the best doctor in town, if you're the best lawyer in town, if you're the best whatever it may be... [people] are going to give you some of what they produce in exchange for what you deliver," Buffett said.

-With AAP

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