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Free child care during the COVID-19 crisis

Child care will be free for parents still using it during the coronavirus crisis. The government will also support the nation’s 13,000 childcare centres to remain open after enrolment and attendance numbers plummeted. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said child care was an essential service to keep all parents who still had jobs in the current…

Australia dollar feels coronavirus jitters

The Australian has been hit by a fresh bout of market jitters as grim forecasts for the length and depth of the coronavirus pandemic tested investor appetite for risk. The Aussie is managing to stay around 60.68 US cents, having fallen almost one per cent overnight to as low as 60.39 US cents, and it’s…

Solid labour market before COVID-19 crisis. Record public sector job vacancies.

Solid labour market before COVID-19 crisis Record public sector job vacancies Job vacancies Job vacancies: Job vacancies fell by just 0.1 per cent in the three months to February after lifting by 1.2 per cent in the prior quarter. Vacancies are down 2.2 per cent over the year. The number of unemployed persons per job…

CommSec Daily Report Thursday

Latest news Aussie shares are back in the red on Thursday, with the ASX 200 index down 132pts or 2.6 per cent to 5,120.2. This follows a 4.4 per cent decline for US equities overnight, as the focus returns to the quick spread of the coronavirus in the US. President Trump warned that the US…

ASX plunges 3.5% as wild swings continue

The Australian share market has lurched back into the red after US stocks were hammered overnight on warnings of a mounting coronavirus death toll. The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 178.3 points, or 3.39 per cent, at 5,080.3 at 1015 AEDT on Thursday, having earlier fallen by more than 3.5 per cent amid more COVID-19…

NZ freezes dividends to Australia’s big 4

Australia’s big four banks won’t be able to receive dividends from their Kiwi subsidiaries during the coronavirus crisis as New Zealand’s central bank takes steps to protect its financial system. The banks have also agreed not to redeem any tier one capital instruments they had sold to investors until the crisis is over, the Reserve…

Oil ends lower after US stockpiles jump

Oil prices have fallen after US crude inventories rose last week by the most since 2016, while gasoline demand suffered its biggest weekly drop ever due to the coronavirus pandemic. Crude inventories rose by 13.8 million barrels last week, the US Energy Information Administration said. That was the biggest one-week rise since 2016, and analysts…

Westpac’s Peter King secures CEO role

Westpac has permanently appointed long-serving Peter King as chief executive on a two year contract. Mr King had been chief financial officer prior to being chosen as acting chief executive in November, when former boss Brian Hartzer stepped aside amid the bank’s money laundering and child exploitation scandal. The appointment comes a day after new…

IMF resourced to deal with virus crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is putting increasing strains on emerging market economies, but the International Monetary Fund says it has sufficient resources to meet their needs for now. The global lender is “quite a bit away” from exhausting its $US1 trillion in total lending capacity and is working to identify new sources of funding and liquidity…

Childcare giant begs for more virus help

Australia’s largest childcare provider is warning it will need help if it is to keep centres open throughout the coronavirus crisis and beyond. Goodstart Early Learning runs 665 childcare centres around the country, employing 16,000 people. But with parents pulling children out of care in droves – whether because they’ve lost their own jobs and…