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5 things you need to know today

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Published on: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

  • Wall Street rose on Monday as investors shifted their focus to earnings results. Last week, investor sentiment was influenced by a range of factors, from US tensions with Russia and North Korea, to comments from US President Donald Trump on the dollar and interest rates. Yesterday, the Dow Jones rose by 184 points, or 0.9%, to 20636.92, the S&P500 rose 0.9% to 2349.01, and the Nasdaq climbed 52 points to 5856.79.
  • China’s economy grew 6.9% in the year to March. That’s ahead of a forecast 6.8%. In the March quarter, China’s economy grew 1.3%, down from 1.7% during the December quarter. Retail sales rose 10.9% for the year to March, compared to an expected jump of 9.6%. Industrial production rose 7.6% annual rate in March. According to CommSec, that’s the fasted growth in 27 months. “The Chinese economy is more than meeting expectations – in fact, the key metrics in March and the March quarter beat expectations and decisively so. A strong Chinese economy is very much in Australia’s interests and it continues to drive the global economy,” said CommSec’s Craig James. 
  • Stephen Conroy, a former Labor minister, is lobbying the Government to curb wagering advertising. According to The Australian, Conroy, who is the executive director of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), said corporate bookmakers under the RWA banner are working to change perceptions on their practices and the way they operate. That includes Sportsbet and CrownBet. “There are significant shifts in position for the sector”, explained Conroy.
  • Gas buyers have called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ramp up pressure on east coast gas suppliers to consider restricting exports and free up local gas. The Australian Financial Review reports that Australian Industry Group’s chief executive, Innes Willox, sent a letter to Turnbull and Shorten with the call, ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with gas producer chief executives. Ai Group reportedly wants the Government to “ease the way for ‘swap’ arrangements by Queensland’s LNG exporters – primarily Santos’ GLNG venture – to buy cheap gas on the Asian market to fill some export sales contracts”, and therefore free up local gas for industrial buyers at more affordable prices (AFR). 
  • At 0700 AEST on Tuesday the share price futures index was unchanged at 5,852.

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