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Published on: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull scrapped the 457 visa scheme for temporary skilled workers yesterday, framing the move as putting Australian workers first. The 457 visa will be replaced with a more stringent program, including two new temporary worker visa streams – short- and medium-term programs. The Government’s plan also involves reducing the list of occupation classifications that qualify for the temporary visa by around 200 (there are currently 650). 95,000 workers in Australia on existing 457 visas will not be affected by the changes.
  • The Reserve Bank Board (RBA) minutes from the April 4 meeting were cautiously optimistic, and suggested that policy members were more confident on the global economic outlook. “Importantly, domestic inflation is estimated to have bottomed, removing the need for further rate cuts”, said CommSec’s Savanth Sebastian. Read Peter Switzer’s article today for more on the RBA’s revelations, and where economists think interest rates are headed.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is more upbeat on the global economy this year. They expect the global economy to expand by 3.5% in 2017, and 3.6% in 2018. Last year, the global economy expanded by 3.1%. Australia is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2017 and 3.0% in 2018. That follows a 2.5% rise in 2016. Despite the optimistic economic outlook for the year, the IMF flagged their concerns about shifts towards trade protectionism. “One salient threat is a turn toward protectionism, leading to trade warfare”, noted IMF chief economist, Maurice Obstfeld. Read the full outlook here.
  • The telco sector was hammered yesterday following TPG’s announcement to move into the mobile market. According to The Australian, Telstra, TPG and Vocus have lost over $8 billion collectively since TPG’s announcement. TPG will become Australia’s fourth mobile operator. TPG shares closed more than 16% lower yesterday at $5.50. Read Andrew Main’s article today on TPG’s bold move into the mobile market.
  • At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the share price futures index was down 38 points, or 0.65 per cent, at 5,790.   

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