Here’s everything you need to know in finance markets for today.
ASX: It looks set to be a difficult day of trade for the Australian share market on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 24 points or 0.35 per cent lower this morning.
Wall Street: It was a poor night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones rise slightly but the S&P 500 fall 0.7 per cent and the Nasdaq sink 1.9 per cent. The latter could be bad news for local tech shares, which tend to follow the Nasdaq’s lead.
AUD: The Australian dollar is trading at 0.7717 to the US dollar as at 7.40am this morning.
Oil: According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 2.1 per cent to US$65.81 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has climbed 2.1 per cent to US$68.97 a barrel. Demand optimism has been lifting prices this week.
Gold: According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.7 per cent to US$1,779.30 an ounce. This follows comments by US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen. She said that interest rates may need to rise to stop the US economy from overheating.
Federal Budget: Despite the promise of a big spending budget by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in a week’s time, there are concerns it will be one of missed opportunities. BIS Oxford Economics chief economist Sarah Hunter believes the success of Australia’s economic recovery to date has been the pre-emptive stance taken by the Morrison government through budget policy.
Budget boost: A regional grants program is set to receive a $250 million extension in the federal budget to fund projects designed to boost economies outside major capitals. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will on Wednesday announce a sixth round of the Building Better Regions Fund for shovel-ready infrastructure projects.
Natural disasters: Communities will get help rebuilding and recovering from natural disasters from a new national agency to be funded in next week’s federal budget. The National Recovery and Resilience Agency was flagged last year in the government’s response to the natural disaster royal commission.
ANZ: ANZ will be the latest major bank to release its half-year results today. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, its analysts are expecting the banking giant to report first half cash earnings (pre-one offs) of $3,073 million. This will be a massive 117 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period, which of course was impacted by COVID-19. The broker is expecting this to allow the ANZ board to declare a fully franked interim dividend of 60 cents per share.
NT economy: A massive increase in GST revenue forecasts is likely to result in the Northern Territory’s economic recovery happening quicker than expected. The 2021/22 budget released on Tuesday revealed a $1.35 billion deficit and net debt of $9 billion, the equivalent to 122 per cent of revenue.
Trump: Former US President Donald Trump has launched a space on his website where he can post messages that can be shared by others to Twitter and Facebook, sites where he remains banned. The launch on Tuesday comes a day before a decision from Facebook Inc’s oversight board on whether to uphold Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platform.
Hydrogen projects: Australia said on Wednesday it had awarded A$103 million ($80 million) to back three ‘green’ hydrogen projects, hiking its planned funding by almost 50 per cent as the government seeks to speed up commercial production of the gas using renewable resources. All three projects selected by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency plan to use 10 megawatt electrolysers to split water using renewable energy to produce hydrogen.