Source : PortMac.News | Independent :
Source : PortMac.News | Independent | News Story:
News Story Summary:
Latest updates on Key Economic Indicators
Australian Dollar: $0.7640 USD (up $0.0017 USD)
Iron Ore May Spot Price (SGX): $166.05 USD (down $0.25 USD)
Oil Price (WTI): $60.45 USD (up $0.82 USD)
Gold Price: $1,745.41 (up $12.60 USD)
Bitcoin: $63,192.06 USD (up 5.19% in last 24 hours)
Dow Jones: 33,677.27 (down 68.13 points on yesterday's close)
All changes compared to 7am yesterday.
Cabinet on 'War footing' in effort to fix vaccine rollout
abc.net.au - Page Online : 14 April 2021 - Original article by James Glenday, Tom Lowrey - PortMac.News Summary
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has convened an emergency meeting of the national cabinet on 19 April in a bid to accelerate the federal government's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
The national cabinet has typically met once per month so far in 2021, but Morrison wants it to meet twice per week until problems with the rollout are resolved.
Relations between the federal and state government have become strained over the question of responsibility for delays in the vaccination program.
US announces increase to US military presence in Germany
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday that the US military will increase its presence in Germany, recommitting the US to the NATO alliance in a reversal from the previous administration's plans to withdraw troops from the country.
The US will permanently station "approximately 500 additional US personnel in the Wiesbaden area" of Germany and will be on the ground "as early as fall," Austin said during a news conference in Berlin.
"This planned increase in US personnel underscores our commitment to Germany, and to the entire NATO alliance," he added.
US troops to leave Afghanistan by 11 September
US President Joe Biden is set to announce that American troops will leave Afghanistan by 11 September, officials have told US media.
The US would miss a May deadline for a pull-out agreed with the Taliban by the Trump administration last year.
The new deadline would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the US in 2001.
Mr Biden had previously said the 1 May deadline would be tough to meet.
US and Nato officials have said the Taliban, a hardline Islamist movement, have so far failed to live up to commitments to reduce violence.
AstraZeneca link 'Likely' in new clots case
The Australian - Page 4 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Natasha Robinson, Amos Aikman - PortMac.News Summary
Australia has recorded a second case of a rare blood clotting condition among people who have received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.
A Western Australian woman in her 40s was diagnosed with vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis several weeks after being given the vaccine.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration's vaccine safety investigation group has concluded that the case is most likely linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However, TGA head John Skerritt has stressed that the chances of developing VITT are very low. About 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered nationwide.
(See full story on PortMac.News today)
Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine to be paused in US over blood clots
The Guardian - Page Online : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Jessica Glenza - PortMac.News Summary
The safety of another COVID-19 vaccine is under scrutiny after US health authorities recommended putting its nationwide rollout on hold.
Six women in the US have experienced blood clotting within several weeks of receiving Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine.
All of the women are in the 18-48 age group, while one has died and another is said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
The vaccine uses the same adenovirus technology as the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to more than 200 cases of blood clotting worldwide.
Australian health authorities have recommended not giving the AstraZeneca jab to people under the age of 50.
Stranded Aussies back of queue as foreign nationals lead arrivals
The Australian - Page 4 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Ellie Dudley - PortMac.News Summary
About 34,500 Australians are still stranded overseas due to the coronavirus pandemic, including 5,000 who are classified as vulnerable.
However, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that just 44% of international arrivals in February were Australian citizens or permanent residents, compared with 58% in July 2020 and 69% a year ago.
The Stranded Aussies Action Network's co-founder Esther Rockett says they should be prioritised over foreign nationals. More than 5,000 people who arrived in Australia in February were on temporary visas.
Australia's exports to China hit new highs
The Australian - Page 13 & 18 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Will Glasgow - PortMac.News Summary
Data from China's customs agency shows that the ban on Australian imports is having little impact on trade between the two nations.
Australia's exports to China grew by 20.7% to $US33.7bn ($44.36bn) in the March quarter, with the value of exports reaching a record high of $US13.2bn in the month of March.
Meanwhile, China's exports to Australia rose by 50.5% to $US14.1bn in the quarter. Australia's trade with China has been boosted by high prices for iron ore and LNG, but Oxford Economics expects Chinese demand for imported commodities to fall in coming months.
Australia war with China 'Likely' in five to 10 years: Pyne
News.com.au - Page Online : 14 April 2021 - Original article by James Hall - PortMac.News Summary
Australia's former defence minister Christopher Pyne says there is a strong chance that the nation will become involved in a war with China in the next decade.
Pyne has identified Taiwan as the most likely trigger for an armed conflict with China within the next 5-10 years, and stresses that it will be a 'Real' war rather than one fought in cyberspace. Pyne notes that China is ramping up its defence expenditure, which will top $US210bn in 2021.
Qantas was ready for 'Brand damage'
The Australian - Page 5 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Robyn Ironside - PortMac.News Summary
The Transport Workers Union's legal action against Qantas over the outsourcing of ground staff continued on 13 April.
The Federal Court was told that Qantas had been of the view that the projected cost savings of $100m from outsourcing 2,400 jobs would outweigh any disadvantages, which included damage to the Qantas brand and negative publicity.
The union believes that the outsourcing move was primarily aimed at reducing union influence at the airline, given that the majority of ground-handling staff are union members.
We should earn from the US to fix tax abuses
The Australian - Page 19 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Robert Gottliebsen - PortMac.News Summary
Small and medium-sized businesses owe about $25bn to the Australian Taxation Office, and it appears that exorbitant fines and interest penalties account for about half of this debt.
Politicians from both sides of politics tend to overlook the ATO's abuse of power in collecting tax revenue, particularly at Budget time.
However, this abuse of power must be curbed, and the federal government should look to the US under former president Bill Clinton.
The US had similar problems with the Internal Revenue Service at the time, but Clinton's reforms mean that the onus is now on the IRS to prove that tax is owed.
290 bank branches close in one year
The Australian - Page 15 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Anthony Keane - PortMac.News Summary
The Finance Sector Union's national secretary Julia Angrisano says bank branches are being closed at the fastest rate since the early 2000s.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend, with more than 290 branches either closed or scheduled to close since March 2020 as more people shifted to digital banking.
Angrisano says banks have used the pandemic as an excuse to speed up the closure of branches, and contends that some people cannot shift to digital banking.
Iron ore gains on China's import surge as focus turns to costs
Bloomberg - Page Online : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Annie Lee - PortMac.News Summary
Data from China's customs agency shows that the nation's iron ore imports rose by 8% year-on-year in the March quarter, topping 100 million tonnes for the first time since October.
The figures also show that iron ore shipments from Western Australia's Pilbara region rose to a nine-month high in March. Meanwhile, China's steel exports rose to the highest level since 2017.
Blackstone sweetens Crown bid
The Australian Financial Review - Page 13 & 20 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Elouise Fowler - PortMac.News Summary
US private equity firm Blackstone has revised its $8bn takeover bid for casinos owner Crown Resorts.
The indicative offer is still valued at $11.25 per share, although Blackstone has relaxed the condition that the bid will proceed only if Crown has cleared all regulatory hurdles.
The Victorian and Western Australian governments' royal commissions into Crown are scheduled to release their findings later in 2021.
Crown shares closed at $12.07 on 13 April.
Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence up 6.4pts to 114.1 - highest since 2019
Market Research Update - Page Online : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Roy Morgan - PortMac.News Summary
ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rose 6.4pts to 114.1 on the weekend of April 10/11, a week after the lockdown of Greater Brisbane ended and Australians enjoyed the four-day Easter long weekend.
Consumer Confidence is now well above the 2021 weekly average of 110.6 and 35.9pts higher than the same week a year ago (78.2).
Now 31% (up 4ppts) of Australians say their families are 'Better off' financially than this time last year (the highest figure for this indicator since mid-March 2020), while 25% (down 4ppts) say their families are 'Worse off' financially (the highest figure for this indicator since early March 2020).
In addition, 41% (up 2ppts) of Australians expect their family to be 'Better off' financially this time next year, and 13% (down 4ppts) expect to be 'Worse off' financially.
Some 22% (up 3ppts) of Australians expect 'Good times' for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 16% (down 4ppts) expect 'Bad times'.
Meanwhile, 43% (up 4ppts) of Australians say now is a 'Good time to buy' major household items, while 25% (down 3ppts) say now is a 'Bad time to buy'.
Stocks end flat ahead of key data
The Australian - Page 18 : 14 April 2021 - Original article by Rebecca Le May - PortMac.News Summary
The Australian sharemarket was steady on 13 April; the S&P/ASX 200 eased 0.04% to close at 6,976.9 points, but the broader All Ordinaries posted a small gain.
Rio Tinto shed 1.18%t to end the session at $113.53 and Delorean Corporation was down 20.24% to $0.335 following a strong debut in the previous trading session.
The Commonwealth Bank was up 0.54% at $87.19 and Afterpay rose 3.12% to $124.98.