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ASX falls again as banks lose ground

The Australian share market has dipped in the final minutes of trade to close lower, with the banking sector suffering the most after an APRA suggestion to suspend their dividends and a downgrade to their credit ratings. The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index finished Wednesday down 45.4 points, or 0.86 per cent, at 5,206.9 points, while the…

Extra funding for airlines won’t take wing

The Morrison government appears to have ruled out any further support for the aviation sector, having already piled millions of dollars into an industry that has suffered at the hands of coronavirus. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack insists he wants all of Australia’s airlines to come through the other side of the pandemic. “We realise…

Share of first home buyers at decade high

Share of first home buyers at decade high Lending indicators Home loans: The value of home loans fell by 1.7 per cent in February with owner-occupier loans down by 1.7 per cent and investor loans down by 1.9 per cent. First home buyers: The number of first home buyers hit a decade high of 9,734…

Phone welfare checks for older Australians

Elderly people who have suspended in-home services during the coronavirus crisis will soon receive welfare checks over the phone. Many older Australians have scrapped home care visits to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19. Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck is nervous vulnerable people could fall through the cracks. “It’s clear some senior Australians are anxious…

CommSec Daily Report Wednesday

Latest news While Aussie shares have bounced off this morning’s lows, the ASX 200 is still down by 0.67 per cent to 5217 following heavy losses from the major banks. At its worst, the index was down by 2.4 per cent. US markets gave back 4 per cent in gains in late trade, with the…

US stocks slip as oil prices tumble

The Bad The S&P gave up nearly 100 points on the day as the two -day stock market rally petered out. US equities came off pretty hard in the US afternoon session despite substantial gains in Europe and Asia. US stocks had been higher for most of the course on good volumes with a notable…

APRA suspends the issuing of new licences

Australia’s financial services regulator will temporarily suspend the issuing of new banking, insurance and superannuation licences amid uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has issued a letter to applicants saying the pause will be for at least six months. However, APRA will continue to assess current licence applications “so the…

Patients urged to phone GPs during crisis

Doctors are concerned some people are so uncomfortable using “telehealth” platforms during the coronavirus crisis they are avoiding consultations altogether. Patients unable or unwilling to use new technologies such as video conferencing are being urged to call instead. “An old fashioned phone will do just fine,” Dr Harry Nespolon said on Wednesday. “General practice is…

No plan to lift GST post-virus: Treasurer

The Morrison government has ruled out lifting the rate of GST to pay for the billions of spending in its attempt to curb the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was vague how three stimulus packages and other assist measures worth over $200 billion will be paid for once the…

IAG boss Harmer to retire by end of 2020

IAG chief executive Peter Harmer will retire by the end of 2020 after five years in charge of the insurance giant. Company chairman Elizabeth Bryan said on Wednesday a flexible nine-month transition period has been agreed with Mr Harmer to ensure a smooth changeover once a successor is found. Mr Harmer will remain responsible for…