Australia Briefing: RBA Set to Hold as Inflation Cools
Pedestrians by the retail stores at Pitt Street Mall in Sydney. Hi everyone, it’s Jackie here in Sydney. The RBA is poised to extend its rate-rise pause following a deceleration in inflation. But first… Today’s must-reads: • Australia’s potential budget surplus • Brookfield’s new low-carbon fund • JPMorgan agrees to buy First Republic What’s happening now Standing pat. The RBA is set to hold interest rates again today as easing inflation gives the central bank more time to assess the impact of its policy tightening. It’s a different story for the Fed and the ECB , which are both expected to push rates higher this week. Australian house prices rose for a second consecutive month in April, suggesting a stabilization that’s coincided with the rate rise pause. Clinuvel is limiting availability of a drug to treat a rare skin disease. The Melbourne-based company is an outlier in the pharmaceutical industry in that it keeps tight control over who can administer its drug, known as Scenesse. It also discourages patients from participating in trials of other treatments. The lucky country. Australia’s fiscal coffers are rapidly refilling as high commodity prices and near-full employment bring windfall tax revenue, raising the possibility that next week’s budget could post the first surplus in 15 years. The country’s underlying budget position was better than forecast in the nine months through March, government data show. Brookfield Asset Management aims to raise more than $15 billion for a new fund to invest in low-carbon technologies . It will invest in emerging technologies like green hydrogen and carbon capture, alongside more established investments in wind, solar and batteries. In March, Brookfield led a consortium that agreed to acquire Australian utility Origin Energy, and plans to invest A$20 billion ($13.3 billion) over the next decade to add clean energy generation. What happened overnight US bonds plunged on a wave of corporate debt offerings ahead of this week’s anticipated Fed hike, while stocks ended little changed as traders waded through earnings. JPMorgan agreed to acquire First Republic in a government-led deal, putting to rest one of the biggest troubled banks remaining after turmoil engulfed the industry in March. The sale comes at a lower cost to the FDIC than rival bids — including one from PNC, reportedly backed by Apollo and BlackRock. The next wave of financial turmoil may come from commercial real estate but won’t be systemic, Apollo Global’s Marc Rowan said at the Milken Institute conference. Read more on the event here . Meta raised $8.5 billion in a five-part bond sale , a person familiar said. Facebook’s parent plans to use the money to fund future buybacks, acquisitions and capex. Other issuers include Hershey and Comcast. What to watch • RBA rate decision, 2:30pm Sydney time One more thing… AI will accelerate the decline of some jobs over the next five years, but the net impact of most tech will be positive , according to a World Economic Forum report. Nearly a quarter of jobs will change as a consequence of AI, digitization and other developments like the green transition and supply chain reshoring.
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