Tag Archives: report

Australian, NZ stocks followed global markets lower as virus cases surged | Instant News


(Reuters) – Stocks in Australia and New Zealand languish at three-week lows as a surge in new coronavirus cases around the world frightens global markets and fueled fears that a prolonged lockdown will hurt the nascent economic recovery.

FILE PHOTOS: A board displaying stock prices is seen on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in Sydney, Australia, 9 February 2018. REUTERS / David Gray

The S & P / ASX 200 index was down 1.1%, or 67.7 points, to 5,990.3 by 0057 GMT.

New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index also fell 1% to 12,137.1.

Equities from across Europe to the United States fell on concerns over a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, with sentiment worsening after the leaders of France and Germany announced new lockdowns to combat the spread of the virus.

Concerns about global infections also outweighed news that Melbourne shops, restaurants and hotels were opening for business on Wednesday following a four-month coronavirus lockdown.

The Australian dollar, a liquid proxy for risk, was down about 0.1% against the greenback.

The gold index slumped 4.4% to hit a two-month low and led the decline. Westgold Resources Ltd and Gold Road Resources Ltd fell 10.7% and 5.3%, respectively.

The nation’s biggest gold producer, Newcrest Mining Ltd, fell 3.7% on reporting a quarterly drop in production.

Financial stocks slid 1.6%, with the “Big Four” shedding 1.6% to 3%.

Energy stocks fell 2.7%, dragged down by 4% declines in Oil Search Ltd and Santos Ltd.

Crude oil, considered a barometer of economic activity, fell more than 5% overnight reflecting fears of erosion in fuel demand. [O/R]

The top percentage of losers on the main index was online jobs portal Seek Ltd, down 8.6%, after short seller Blue Orca said the Chinese company’s unit, Zhaopin, housed a large junk list.

The number of issues in the ASX that went up was 188 while 1,318 was down as a 0.1 to 1 ratio favored the decline.

In the New Zealand index, Oceania Healthcare Ltd and Air New Zealand Ltd were the biggest losers, dropping around 3.5% each.

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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Sterling rises as dollar weakens; Brexit talks are in focus | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – Sterling rose 0.4% Tuesday afternoon on a weaker US dollar, while rising hopes of a trade deal between the EU and UK helped the currency strengthen against the euro.

FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth II seen with a medical mask printed on a Pound banknote in this illustration taken, March 31, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

For most of the day, the British pound traded flat against the dollar and euro as most traders focused on the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier resumed talks in London with his British counterpart on Tuesday as the two sides try to reach a last-minute trade deal less than 10 weeks before Britain leaves the bloc.

Sterling did not budge on Tuesday morning after Britain’s retail recovery, a bright spot in the COVID-hit economy, stalled this month after several months of recovery, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.

Analysts believe sterling will not gain much even if the UK and EU reach a Brexit trade deal in time.

“We are becoming increasingly confident that a rise in the pound will result from a confirmed Brexit deal that is unlikely to be very large,” said Derek Halpenny, head of research at MUFG.

“Yesterday was a great example of some good news that failed to provide much improvement at all for sterling.”

The British pound was last up 0.4% against the dollar at $ 1.3067 and edged up 0.2% against the euro to 90.55 pence. The US dollar index fell 0.3% to 92.79.

Britain is also grappling with a weak economy hit by the coronavirus. Negative interest rates have not been ruled out, another hurdle that currencies are hard to bear.

The Bank of England is considering how it can cut interest rates below zero if needed, and views differ among its nine monetary policymakers.

UK two-year and five-year government bond yields were in negative territory on Tuesday.

Moreover, the UK’s darker economic outlook is likely to prompt the Bank of England to step up its massive bond-buying stimulus program next week for the third time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

All of that creates a disappointing prospect for sterling, said Halpenny.

“We don’t have examples of negative rates in a country that has a current account deficit, a budget deficit that is larger than most other major developed economies and where inflation is simply not low,” he said. “This definitely shows the potential for a bigger currency impact.”

Reporting by Olga Cotaga; Edited by Richard Chang

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Closing the Australian education gap will take a generation, the study finds important | Instant News


One of the most comprehensive studies of the Australian education system found that postal code and family background influence the opportunities available to students from preschool to adulthood, with one in three disadvantaged students falling through the gap.

Sergio Macklin, vice chair of education policy at Victoria University’s Michell Institute, released the Education Opportunities in Australia report, which calls for additional resources immediately to help disadvantaged, Indigenous and remote students.

“Educational success is closely tied to the wealth of young people’s families and where they grow up,” said Macklin.

“I think Australia is really disappointing students from low-income families, Aboriginal students, and those in remote areas.”

The report criticized the progress of last December’s Alice Springs Education Council meeting at which, after Australia’s poor performance compared to its international counterparts, education ministers pledged to deliver a system that generates excellence and equity.

Last year’s poor results on educational equality have now been exacerbated by distance learning, with some students without internet or stability at home falling weeks behind their peers.

Author Sergio Macklin says there is a strong relationship between children’s educational success and their family’s wealth.(ABC News: Patrick Stone)

“The children and adolescents most severely served by the education system are probably the most affected by it,” said Macklin.

“So you’ll see work stress in the family dramatically increases student vulnerability.”

The report follows the progress of more than 300,000 students from school to primary school, to high school and into early adulthood.

Mr Macklin believes this problem will take a generation to fix.

The report found that disadvantaged students were more than twice as likely to be out of school or work by age 24 than their peers.

The national average of students who are not working or studying is 15 percent, but this increases to 32 percent of students from the lowest SES backgrounds, 38 percent from very remote areas and 45 percent among Indigenous youth.

“I think what this report highlights is that we are missing opportunities for youth in adulthood – and that’s a real problem for young people,” said Macklin.

Fight the trend

About half an hour outside of Canberra, in the New South Wales region, 14-year-old Caitlyn, 16-year-old Iliana, 13-year-old William and their mother, Mem, buck the trend, with the help of the Smith Family.

They are members of a proud Indigenous family who hail from the country of Djangadi, far northeast of NSW.

a family sitting side by side on the sofa, smiling at the camera
Mem’s sons William (left), Caitlyn (center) and Iliana (second from right), bucked the trend with support from the Smith Family.(ABC News: Gregory Nelson)

Distance learning has been a challenge for everyone, but solving it in a two bedroom apartment that accommodates three teenagers and their single mother has its own challenges.

Even getting a table is a big hurdle.

“I’m afraid they will fight,” said Miss.

“How do we all get enough space? Because there’s nowhere to go and you’re not really allowed out.

William slept in the living room and his bedroom became a kind of school headquarters.

“I’m in the waiting room and it’s the most common area in the house. Iliana and Caitlyn have their own bedroom,” William said.

a mother and her three teenagers sat on the sofa, chatting happily.
Nona said she is proud of her children’s efforts to engage in online learning.(ABC News: Gregory Nelson)

Caitlyn feels a difficult change from school.

“After a few weeks, I realized it was lousy, because I sometimes have trouble just learning online,” said the 9th grader.

But for the eldest of three children, Iliana, who is 16 years old, feels comfortable.

“I think we had a little trouble at first adjusting because we didn’t know exactly who was going to be where and who was bothering whom, but eventually we found our rhythm about how to do things,” he said.

A teenage girl looks past the camera with a smile.
Her oldest sister, Iliana, says it will take time, but she has “found a rhythm” with online learning.(ABC News: Gregory Nelson)

Nona is proud of the dedication of her three children.

All are on track to become future indigenous leaders, and with the extra support they were fortunate enough to organize, they have returned to school on par with their peers.

Positive solutions

The Smith Family’s head of research, Anne Hampshire, said it was proof it could be done.

He said equality in education could be achieved faster than in a generation if philanthropists, educators, welfare agencies and all levels of government came together.

“What is concretely seen, the kind of support that makes a difference, is a high quality pre-school program before children start school and then provide financial, emotional, and educational support – things like high-quality reading programs, after-school learning clubs. , “said Ms Hampshire.

He said the investment would soon be paid back through lower levels of welfare and health problems for those who continue to pass through the gap.

“The international evidence is that [with that], more people can do well educationally. “

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Australia, the New Zealand dollar proved resilient to the coronavirus woes | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian and New Zealand dollars strengthened on Tuesday as the two countries’ relative success in fighting COVID-19 bolstered local sentiment in the face of an increasingly dark global outlook.

FILE PHOTOS: Australian dollar seen in the illustration photo February 8, 2018. REUTERS / Daniel Munoz

The Aussie was up 0.1% to $ 0.7131 AUD = D3, comfortable above recent lows at $ 0.7018 and not far from the next major resistance barrier at $ 0.7158.

The kiwi dollar was slightly stronger at $ 0.6683 NZD = D3, again well above last week’s trough of $ 0.6551 and immediate resistance at $ 0.6704.

While the rise of the coronavirus threatens economic growth in Europe and the United States, much of Australia has had few or no new cases and the country’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has finally reopened after containing a major outbreak.

This relative success helped consumer confidence climb to an eight-month high, according to a weekly survey from ANZ.

“People remain cautious about the current economic outlook,” said ANZ chief economist David Plank.

“But confidence in future economic and financial conditions is much more positive … preserves the outlook for a recovery in spending if the labor market holds.”

Another positive for the Aussie is the continued inflow of foreign equity offers, most recently a A $ 9.28 billion ($ 6.6 billion) bid for Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd CCL.AX.

“The recent M&A news run is an important reminder of how supportive equity capital flows have been and remain,” said Westpac chief FX strategist Richard Franulovich.

He noted that over the past year Australia has had a surplus of A $ 77 billion in goods and services, equivalent to 5.2% of GDP, and net foreign equity inflows of A $ 56 billion.

“We see AUD capped by $ 0.7170 / $ 0.7200, with a break of the key $ 0.7010 / 20 support required to move lower,” he added. “We see any downturn as a good buying opportunity to gain strength through the end of the year and beyond.”

Government bonds remain supported by expectations the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will launch a full quantitative easing campaign at its policy meeting within a week.

Most analysts assume the bank will cut its cash rate to 0.1%, from the current 0.25%, and lower its target for three-year bond yields to the same level. Three-year bonds YTTc1 already mostly pricing at 99,840, implying a yield of 0.16%.

Edited by Shri Navaratnam

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Australia, the New Zealand dollar proved resilient to the coronavirus woes | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian and New Zealand dollars strengthened on Tuesday as the two countries’ relative success in fighting COVID-19 bolstered local sentiment in the face of an increasingly dark global outlook.

FILE PHOTOS: Australian dollar seen in the illustration photo February 8, 2018. REUTERS / Daniel Munoz

The Aussie was up 0.1% to $ 0.7131 AUD = D3, comfortable above recent lows at $ 0.7018 and not far from the next major resistance barrier at $ 0.7158.

The kiwi dollar was slightly stronger at $ 0.6683 NZD = D3, again well above last week’s trough of $ 0.6551 and immediate resistance at $ 0.6704.

While the rise of the coronavirus threatens economic growth in Europe and the United States, much of Australia has had few or no new cases and the country’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has finally reopened after containing a major outbreak.

This relative success helped consumer confidence climb to an eight-month high, according to a weekly survey from ANZ.

“People remain cautious about the current economic outlook,” said ANZ chief economist David Plank.

“But confidence in future economic and financial conditions is much more positive … preserves the outlook for a recovery in spending if the labor market holds.”

Another positive for the Aussie is the continued inflow of foreign equity offers, most recently a A $ 9.28 billion ($ 6.6 billion) bid for Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd CCL.AX.

“The recent M&A news run is an important reminder of how supportive equity capital flows have been and remain,” said Westpac chief FX strategist Richard Franulovich.

He noted that over the past year Australia has had a surplus of A $ 77 billion in goods and services, equivalent to 5.2% of GDP, and net foreign equity inflows of A $ 56 billion.

“We see AUD capped by $ 0.7170 / $ 0.7200, with a break of the key $ 0.7010 / 20 support required to move lower,” he added. “We see any downturn as a good buying opportunity to gain strength through the end of the year and beyond.”

Government bonds remain supported by expectations the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will launch a full quantitative easing campaign at its policy meeting within a week.

Most analysts assume the bank will cut its cash rate to 0.1%, from the current 0.25%, and lower its target for three-year bond yields to the same level. Three-year bonds YTTc1 already mostly pricing at 99,840, implying a yield of 0.16%.

Edited by Shri Navaratnam

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