Latest News Govt Assist since Friday March 13th

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The S&P/ASX 200 at opening on Tuesday was 5,181.40. It closed at 5,076.80.

On March 27 it was 4,842.40. On March 20 it was 4,816.60. On March 13: 5,539.30.
On March 6: 6,216.20.

In the US, the S & P 500 at close on Monday was 2,626.65. It closed on Tuesday at 2,584.59.

On March 27 it was 2,541.47. On March 20 it was 2,304.92. On March 13 it was 2,711.02.
On March 6: 2,972.37.

Wednesday March 31st 2020 - The Australian

Welcome to the Trading Day blog for Wednesday, April 1. Australian stocks are pushing higher with gains across all sectors – making back most of yesterday’s losses. Transurban is the key drag after scrapping its earnings guidance as traffic on its network plummets while building approvals data for February showed a surprise uplift. Overnight, Wall Street tumbled in subdued trade, with the Dow closing down 1.9 per cent, the S&P 500 losing 1.6 per cent and the Nasdaq down 1 per cent.

Tuesday March 31st 2020

Australian stocks hit two-week highs early following yesterday’s record 7pc rebound, but those gains were wiped in afternoon trade as miners pulled back. Coles was a clear underperformer after Wesfarmers announced it was selling down its stake in the group, while energy names shrugged off a drop in oil prices to an 18-year low. Virgin soared after confirming reports it was asking the government for a $1.4bn bailout, news that sparked outcry from rival Qantas. Overnight, on Wall Street, the Dow ended up 3.2 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 3.4 per cent and the Nasdaq advanced 3.6 per cent.

Front Page of The Australian Tuesday morning – JobKeeper subsidy

Register for JobKeeper here (note, you must have an ABN)

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Details on how it works

Monday March 30th 2020

The local market extended gains to notch a record 7 per cent lift at the close, as the Prime Minister unveiled a further $130bn in fiscal stimulus, including wage subsidies. Banks have unveiled more relief measures for business, helping all of the majors to notch gains in the local session.

Friday March 27th 2020

The ASX added more than 2pc at the open and was on track for its fourth day of gains but a sharp reversal in sentiment sent shares down 5.3pc by the close - trimming weekly gains to just 0.5pc. It comes as companies continue to detail job losses, hitting retail landlords the hardest, and withdraw guidance. It came after the Dow Jones ended a short-lived bear market overnight as the Senate passed a massive US stimulus package aimed at reviving the economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow closed up 6.4 per cent, the S&P 500 jumped 6.2 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 5.6 per cent.

Thursday March 26th

The ASX made a late dash higher to close out the session higher by 2.3pc to a six-day high of 5113.3 after the US Senate passed a massive $US2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. All sectors finished in the green for the day, led by a 7.4pc lift in tech stocks - namely a rally in Afterpay - while Healthcare notched a gain of 6.4pc. On Wall Street Wednesday night, the Dow closed up 2.4 per cent, the S&P 500 ended up 1.2pc and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.5 per cent. With increased computer server power being made available online, Australians can register their intent to claim social security via myGov. Once their account is set up the money will be backdated to when they first tried to contact Centrelink or, if they had been unable to get through, March 23.

Wednesday March 25th

The ASX surged by 6pc early. It dropped to 2.5pc as health stocks wound back after Prime Minister Scott Morrison suspended elective surgeries to free up space for coronavirus treatment. In a late rally it closed up 5.54pc with news of bipartisan agreement on US stimulus plans - with the two sides said to have passed a stimulus deal worth $US2 trillion. Australian PM Scott Morrison announced a National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), led by former Fortescue boss Neville Power, who would co-ordinate “actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects” of the coronavirus pandemic. He said it was "about working cooperatively across private-to-private and public-to-private networks to unlock resources, break bottlenecks and fix problems so Australian families, businesses and communities are supported through the challenging months ahead." "At all times, our actions are guided by the best possible medical advice, while putting the economic and social wellbeing of all Australians front and centre of our response." The NCCC will be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The existing National Coordination Mechanism based in the Department of Home Affairs, which coordinates the cross jurisdictional response to non-health aspects of the pandemic, will report to the Commission, as will the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit based in the Treasury Department. The commission also includes former Labor minister Greg Combet, public servant Jane Halton, former Toll Holdings chief executive Paul Little, EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna and former Telstra boss David Thodey. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Phil Gaetjens and Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo will also sit on the commission. Anthony Albanese and his senior Labor frontbenchers began to openly attack the federal government’s stimulus measures, handling of the crisis and the new national COVID-19 co-ordination commission. Declaring there was a strong argument for an immediate stage-three shutdown that would close schools, the Opposition Leader blamed the government’s messaging and “new announcements every single day” for panic-buying. “I absolutely support stricter shutdowns and clear messages about them and a timetable on when things occur,” Mr Albanese said. However, Senior Labor MPs were divided over the shift from bipartisan support to open criticism, with one MP saying it ("open criticism") was the wrong strategy at the wrong time and a cynical move to remain part of the debate. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly acknowledged there was a split between health authorities and some governments on the scale and speed with which isolation measures should be implemented. He said governments had “turned off the tap at the border”, increased hygiene messaging and minimised contact between people through social distancing and quarantine measures. It came after world markets jumped Tuesday night on news of US Fed bond buying and rising hopes for a US stimulus plan. The Dow jumped 11.3pc, its biggest rally (using percentages) since 1933, while the S&P 500 gained 9.4pc and the Nasdaq rose 8.1pc.

Tuesday March 24th 2020

Australian stocks rebounded from 2012 lows to notch a 4.2 per cent lift, their largest gains in a week. It is thought to be due to the promise of unlimited stimulus from the US Fed and hopes US politicians can come to an agreement over a $US2.5 trillion stimulus package tomorrow. Parliament passes $84bn stimulus package Federal parliament has rushed through $84 billion in stimulus measures, including amendments allowing for the extension of the $550 coronavirus supplement to students, before shutting down until August. A skeleton crew of MPs and senators passed the federal government’s two stimulus packages, amended to grant the social services minister broad powers to make changes to the stimulus payment without going through parliament; including rates, means testing, and residency requirements. The Australian reports that the Coalition is planning a form of support payment for temporary migrants stranded in Australia without work. Parliament also approved an “advance” of $40 billion for the finance minister to spend on unforeseen events from July 1. Banks outperformed led by a surge in Macquarie, while heavily sold off tech and real estate names clawed back ground. All this after another bad night on world markets, with Wall Street falling again as Fed rescue action fell flat and US Congress failed to pass a stimulus bill. The Dow lost 3pc, the S&P 500 sank 2.9pc and the Nasdaq dipped 0.3pc.

Monday March 23rd

Queensland will be closed to visitors and holiday makers from midnight on Wednesday, with police stationed at airports and permits issued to workers needing to cross the border The ASX sunk to new 7-year lows with losses across all sectors led by the major banks.

Friday March 20th

The ASX was higher by 4 per cent with banks the biggest driver after unveiling a $8bn package to relieve pressure on small business facing hardship amid the coronavirus crisis. The ASX slipped back to finish 0.7pc ahead as the bank rally lost steam in the afternoon session. That’s after central banks worldwide unveiled sweeping emergency measures, lifting markets in the US and Europe, although volatility remains. The Dow closed 1.0pc higher, the S&P 500 climbed 0.5pc and the Nasdaq jumped 2.3pc. They fell the following day.

Thursday March 19th

In the US overnight on Wednesday, the Dow Jones sank 6.3pc and extended losses after a market suspension. The S&P sank 5.2pc and the Nasdaq fell 4.7pc. Australian stock falls sent the market to its lowest close in four years after the RBA made an emergency rate cut of 0.25 per cent from 0.5 per cent to a historic low of 0.25 per cent. Energy is the biggest drag after the oil price sank to GFC lows overnight. Companies in the sector had baked in assumptions of $US65 a barrel, compared with Brent crude trading at $US24 a barrel currently. Banks too are taking a hit, extending their decline to 6.2 per cent as the rate cut squeezes margins. Afterpay is taking a near-50pc two-day drop while Qantas is taking another hit as it cut international flights. The AU dollar is falling sharply, hitting 18-year lows of US55.10c. Following the rate cut, it clawed back to 56.31c, before dropping back to 55.73c. Early Friday morning it was back up to 57.47c.

Wednesday March 18th

PM: Don’t travel abroad Scott Morrison has given an unprecedented warning for all Australians not to travel abroad. Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people have also been banned as Australia declares a biosecurity emergency. Scott Morrison announced the measures on Wednesday morning and explained the move was the result of a recommendation from chief health officers around the country. The Prime Minister also warned Australians not to travel anywhere overseas as the travel ban to citizens is raised to its highest level in history. “This is a once in a hundred year type event.” “We are going to keep Australia running. We are going to keep Australia functioning. It won’t look like it normally does.” Mr Morrison also threw cold water on the idea of locking down Australian cities, saying “there is no short-term, quick fix to how this is dealt with in Australia”. “The idea that you can just turn everything off for two weeks and then turn it all back on again and it all goes away. That is not the evidence, that is not the facts, that is not the information and it is not our way through this.” “We are looking at a situation of at least six months for how we deal with this. It could be much longer than that. It could be shorter. That is unlikely, given the way we are seeing events unfold.” Aged-care facility residents will not be allowed to receive more than one visit of up to two visitors in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. Scott Morrison announced that certain exceptions could be made for end of life care patients. “There should be no large group visits or gatherings. Including social activities or entertainment to be permitted at this time. No school groups of any size should be allowed to visit aged care facilities,” the Prime Minister said. “Children aged 16 years or less should be visiting only by exception.”
Australian shares finished at their lowest levels since 2016, a 6.4pc daily drop, as new restrictions on travel and public gatherings stoked fears of a recession. Tourism names took another hit from the government’s ban on international travel, and despite concessions for the nation’s airlines. The local sell-down came after Wall Street jumped overnight following the White House’s plans for $1.2 trillion of stimulus. Meanwhile, the Aussie dollar is trading near 17-year lows - last at US60.06c.

Tuesday, March 17

Australian shares had their best day in more than two decades on Tuesday as investors anticipated additional policy stimulus from the Reserve Bank and the federal government to mitigate a likely recession caused by intensifying global efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. After plunging 9.7 per cent to a four-year low of 5002 points on Monday in the worst day since the 1987 crash, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 share index surged 291.4 points or 5.83 per cent to 5293.4 points, adding $88bn of value in its biggest rise since November 1997. Wall Street stocks rallied on expectations for massive federal stimulus to address the economic hit from the coronavirus, partially recovering some of their losses from the prior session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 5.2 per cent or around 1,050 points at 21,237.38, a day after shedding almost 3000 points on Monday. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 6.0 per cent to 2,529.19 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 6.2 per cent to 7,334.78.

Friday March 13th

Markets recover in Australia after the Worst Crash in US since 1987 The local market staged a remarkable recovery – coming back from a loss as much as 8.1pc to finish higher by 4.4pc for the day after the Prime Minister outlined a ban on mass gatherings (more than 500 people) from Monday.

The Prime Minister said the guidelines would apply to non-essential, organised gatherings of 500 people or more, and would not include public transport, airports or universities.
It followed a brutal more than 10pc sell off on US markets overnight - the worst crash since 1987. The Australian dollar has also been crunched, falling to lows of US62.32c (before coming back to US63c) as investors rush to hold US dollars. In the US, Dow Jones closed at 21,200.62 (from its Wednesday close at 23,553.22). The S & P 500 closed at 2,480.64 (from its Wednesday Close at 2,741.38). Australia’s biggest bank names are being hammered in the market meltdown, to levels not seen since 2009. Banks have been building cash buffers as seen by the Exchange Settlement, or ES balances at the Reserve Bank of Australia, which have risen from around $2bn to close to $7bn. Companies are hoarding cash and tapping revolver credit facilities as a way of drawing on credit lines. Falls are despite the US Fed saying it would inject more than $US1½ trillion in liquidity this week to prevent “ominous trading conditions” from making the market contraction worse and after a temporary (15 minutes) halt to trade at one point - the second circuit breaker triggered this week.
ASX on Twitter: ASX doesn't use circuit breakers like #NYSE. We have AOTs—Anomalous Order Thresholds—that calculate reference prices for all stocks every minute and prevent the placing of aggressive orders (an order +/-10% the reference price). See: #Ausbiz #ASX
Across the Atlantic, new measures introduced by the European Central Bank failed to prevent European stocks dropping 11½ per cent in what was their worst-ever fall. The S&P 500 has now fallen 27pc from its record high three weeks ago and if the S&P/ASX 200 falls as much as expected today it will be down 32pc from its record high close of 7162.5. These falls are the worst since the global financial crisis but more worryingly, happening at a faster rate than they did at that time and are occurring at a time of record low interest rates. The ECB added EUR120bn to its QE program for 2020, while lowering bank capital ratios and saying it will focus on a new round of loans to small business. The Fed expanded its $60bn Treasury Bill programme to all Treasuries to match the maturity composition of Treasury securities outstanding, thereby officially restarting QE. “The aggressive move from the Fed makes it very clear that the Bank will not allow USD liquidity to dry up,” says NAB’s Rodrigo Catril. The Fed will offer $500bn in a three-month repo today, with a further $500bn three-month and a $500bn one-month repo tomorrow. These will continue each week, in addition to the $175bn daily and $45bn two-week repos twice per week.
The Fed uses repurchase agreements, also called "RPs" or "repos", to make collateralized loans to primary dealers. In a reverse repo or "RRP”, the Fed borrows money from primary dealers. The typical term of these operations is overnight, but the Fed can conduct these operations with terms out to 65 business days, or even 3 months. In Australia, the RBA added a net $6.91bn of liquidity to the financial system via daily repo operations in an attempt to provide liquidity to the repo funding markets as the spread of the funding rate to the risk free rate widens.


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