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Australian inflation remains steady

Markets


  • Local and global equity mostly pushed higher this week led by the US equity market which reached record highs. 

  • In local stock news, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares rose to a nine-month high after the respiratory care company upgraded its net profit expectations for the 12 months to March 31, due to a continuation of solid demand from hospital consumables. 

  • Retailer Premier Investments’ shares rose to a more than two-year high after the company said it would hike its dividend by more than 16% after a strong first half. The company also announced it would spin off its Smiggle brand by the end of January 2025 and also explore a demerger of Peter Alexander. 

  • Boral bidder Seven Group hit back at an independent expert report claiming the takeover price undervalued Boral. The report suggested a price above $6.50 a share versus the $6.05 being offered by Seven Group to mop up the 27% of Boral they don’t already own. 

  • Cocoa prices are now more expensive than copper, with cocoa extending its surge surpassing US$9,000 a tonne for the first time ever as a supply crunch in West Africa impacts the market. 

  • Japan and China both moved to bolster their currencies with officials signalling support for their currency as both languish at very low levels. 


Economic


  • Australian consumer confidence continued to remain weak with a survey showing sentiment declined 1.8% in March to remain in pessimistic territory. 

  • The Australian monthly inflation indicator showed prices remained steady in February. The 3.4% reading was slightly below expectations of 3.5%. Housing costs continue to drive inflation outcome, with rents and new dwelling costs rising briskly, whilst underlying inflation fell to 3.9%. 

  • US home sales fell by 0.3% in February to a 662,000 annualised rate, below expectations. 

  • In other US data, a key manufacturing index fell further into contractionary territory against expectations of a slight improvement whilst a national activity index rose slightly in February. 

  • German consumer confidence rose slightly in March but remains in negative territory. 


Politics


  • All of India’s refiners are now refusing to take Russian crude carried specific tankers due to US sanctions. A stark contrast to the last couple of years where the two countries oil trading flourished. 

  • The bill to reform the Reserve Bank of Australia remains stuck in parliament with the opposition insisting the government retain its right to override policy decisions in the event of a serious dispute. 

  • Chinese Premier Li Qiang downplayed investor concerns of challenges facing the economy, saying Beijing is stepping up policy support to spur growth and systemic risks are being addressed. 

  • The Australian federal government has watered down planed vehicle emission standards. The new standards take effect next January. 


Disclaimer: The material and contents provided in this in this email is of a general nature and is not intended to be exhaustive. It is made available in good faith and believed to be correct at the time of preparation. The information does not provide specific advice as the objectives, financial situation, and specific needs of any particular person, including yours, were not taken into account when preparing the information. Prior to making any financial decisions, always seek independent legal and financial advice. Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd and its authorized representatives (or credit representatives) do not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the information provided in this document. Peer Wealth FP Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (Representative No, 001281977) ABN 24 115 294 463 of Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee (AFSL 238478).



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