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The morning catch up: ASX to open lower as investors eye earnings and consumer data; pay gap shame for big industries

Published 27/02/2024, 09:54 am
Updated 27/02/2024, 10:00 am
© Reuters The morning catch up: ASX to open lower as investors eye earnings and consumer data; pay gap shame for big industries

The Australian share market is set for a muted start today, according to futures, which were 0.1% down to 7,604 early this morning following losses on Wall Street and in Europe.

There will be a lot for investors to digest with the last of the earnings reports due and then a slew of inflation figures to follow – Australian consumer confidence data will be released mid-morning today, while big guns Coles and Woodside will release their earnings.

Gender pay gap list

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has published the gender pay gap for employers of 100 or more employees. The report shows that the median pay gap – nationwide, across all industries – is 19%.

The construction industry recorded the largest gap, a whopping 31.8%, closely followed by professional, scientific and technical services and finance. The mining sector also has a long way to go.

In the information media and telecommunications industry, the pay gap was also above the economy-wide average, recording 24.2%.

Accommodation and food services fared better, with a gap of only 1.9%, the lowest of any industry. Of course, highly feminised industries also fared better in terms of the gap. Healthcare and education recorded average pay gaps of 5.2% and 6.1% respectively.

Deputy leader of the Opposition Sussan Ley said of the report: "Today women can see clearly which businesses are walking the talk when it comes to paying women their fair share and which are not."

"There are big-name brands who make profits off the products they market to women while not meeting gender pay parity in their own workforces. That is unacceptable."

"There are businesses that have built their success from partnering with governments that are not meeting the mark on gender pay parity. That must change."

Ley also fired a shot at the construction, finance and mining industries and their unions, saying, "unions that talk themselves up as champions for workers while failing to live up to their rhetoric when it comes to the Gender Pay Gap".

Currencies and commodities

It was a mixed day for global currencies. The Euro moved modestly upward, climbing from US$1.0817 to US$1.0858 and stabilising around US$1.0850 by the US close.

Conversely, the Australian dollar experienced a slight decline, dropping from 65.58 US cents to 65.29 US cents, and slightly recovering to 65.40 US cents at the close. The yen, too, weakened from 150.35 yen per US dollar to JPY150.83, improving slightly to JPY150.70 by the day's end.

There was a big bump in global oil prices, which increased by more than 1% on Monday. This surge was primarily driven by the strengthening physical markets in the US as refineries, enjoying robust margins, actively acquired barrels.

The shift of foreign buyers towards American crude, aiming to circumvent Red Sea shipping complications, further buoyed prices. Disruptions in exports from Libya's Wafa oil field also pushed prices up.

Brent crude was up by 91 US cents or 1.1% to US$82.53 a barrel, while US Nymex crude rose US$1.09 or 1.4% to US$77.58 a barrel.

Base metals didn’t have the same luck, with prices declining yesterday.

Copper futures fell by 1.5% and aluminium futures edged down by 0.1%, sheeted home to rising inventories in London and Shanghai. Gold futures also receded, dropping by US$10.50 or 0.5% to US$2,038.90 an ounce, with spot gold closing near US$2,031 an ounce.

Iron ore futures decreased by 74 US cents or 0.6% to US$126.11 a tonne, amid concerns over increased inventories in China and a slowdown in construction activity due to adverse weather conditions.

Snapshot

  • ASX 200 futures: -0.1% to 7,607 points.
  • Australian dollar: -0.3% to 66.37 US cents.
  • S&P 500: -0.4% to 5,070 points.
  • Nasdaq: -0.1% to 15,976 points.
  • FTSE: -0.3% to 7,684 points.
  • EuroStoxx: -0.4% to 495 points.
  • Spot gold: -0.1% to $US2,031/ounce.
  • Brent crude: +1.5% to $US82.53/barrel.
  • Iron ore: -5% to $US114.10/tonne.
  • Bitcoin: +5.8% to $US54,562.

What’s happening in small caps?

The S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries closed at 2,960.10 yesterday.

Making news this morning, which you can read more about throughout the day with Proactive:

  • Alkane Resources Ltd (ASX:ALK, OTC:ALKEF) has recorded an upgrade to the reserve at the Tomingley Gold Extension Project, which has grown to 664,000 ounces.
  • Galileo Mining Ltd (ASX:GAL, OTC:GLMGF) has delivered an update on field activities surrounding the Callisto deposit at the Norseman project in Western Australia.
  • Ionic Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:ASX:IXR, OTC:IXRRF) has revised and increased the exploration target for the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda.
  • OD6 Metals Ltd (ASX:OD6) says high metallurgical recoveries continue to be achieved from samples tested at the Australian Nuclear Science Organisation (ANSTO).
  • Read more on Proactive Investors AU

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