Market News Au and US since Friday March 13th 2020

In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 at opening on Friday June 28 2024 was 7,759.60. It closed at 7,767.50.

Go to timeline of COVID government news announcements back in 2020 and 2021

2024 movement
On January 1: 7,590.80. On February 1: 7,588.20. On March 1: 7,745.60.
On April 1: 7,896.90. On May 1: 7,569.90. On June 1: 7,701.70.

2023 movement
On January 1: 7,038.70. On February 1: 7,501.70. On March 1: 7,251.60.
On April 1: 7,177.80. On May 1: 7,334.60. On June 1: 7,110.80.
On July 1: 7,203.30. On August 1: 7,450.70. On September 1: 7,278.30.
On October 1: 7,048.60. On November 1: 6,838.30. On December 1: 7,073.20.

2022 movement
On January 1: 7,444.60. On February 1: 7,006.00. On March 1: 7,096.50.
On April 1: 7,493.80. On May 1: 7,435.00. On June 1: 7,234.00.
On July 1: 6,539.90. On August 1: 6,993.00. On September 1: 6,845.60.
On October 1: 6,474.20. On November 1: 6,976.90. On December 1: 7,354.40.

2021 movement
On January 1: 6,587.10. On February 1: 6,607.40. On March 1: 6,789.60.
On April 1: 6,828.70. On May 1: 7,025.80. On June 1: 7,142.60.
On July 1: 7,265.60. On August 1: 7,392.60. On September 1: 7,527.10.
On October 1: 7,185.50. On November 1: 7,370.80. On December 1: 7,235.90.

2020 movement
On March 6: 6,216.20. On March 13: 5,539.30. On March 20: 4,816.60.
On March 27: 4,842.40. On April 3: 5,067.50. On May 1: 5,245.90.
On June 1: 5,819.20. On July 1: 5,934.40. On August 1: 5,927.80.
On September 1: 5,953.40. On October 1: 5,872.90. On November 1: 5,927.60.
On December 1: 6,517.80.

In the US the S & P 500 previously at close on Thursday was at 5,482.87. It closed on Friday at 5,460.48.

2024 movement
On January 1: 4,769.83. On February 1: 4,906.19. On March 1: 5,137.08.
On April 1: 5,243.77. On May 1: 5,018.39. On June 1: 5,277.51.

2023 movement
On January 1: 3,839.50. On February 1: 4,119.21. On March 1: 3,951.39.
On April 1: 4,109.31. On May 1: 4,167.87. On June 1: 4,221.02.
On July 1: 4,450.38. On August 1: 4,576.73. On September 1: 4,515.77.
On October 1: 4,288.05. On November 1: 4,237.86. On December 1: 4,594.63.

2022 movement
On January 1: 4,766.18. On February 1: 4,546.54. On March 1: 4,306.26.
On April 1: 4,545.86. On May 1: 4,131.93. On June 1: 4,101.23.
On July 1: 3,825.33. On August 1: 4,118.63. On September 1: 3,966.85.
On October 1: 3,585.62. On November 1: 3,856.10. On December 1: 4,076.57.

2021 movement
On January 1: 3,756.07. On February 1: 3,714.24. On March 1: 3,901.82.
On April 1: 4,019.87. On May 1: 4,181.17. On June 1: 4,202.04.
On July 1: 4,319.94. On August 1: 4,395.26. On September 1: 4,524.09.
On October 1: 4,357.04. On November 1: 4,613.67. On December 1: 4,513.04.

2020 movement
On March 6: 2,972.37. On March 13: 2,711.02. On March 20: 2,304.92.
On March 27: 2,541.47. On April 3: 2,488.65. On May 1: 2,830.71.
On June 1: 3,055.73. On July 1: 3,115.86. On August 1: 3,271.12.
On September 1: 3,526.65. On October 1: 3,380.80. On November 1: 3,269.96.
On December 1: 3,621.63.

AUD to USD $0.67

On January 20th 2020 the exchange rate was $0.69, a rate it had hovered around since May 2019.
On February 20th 2020 it was $0.66. On March 11th it was $0.65, then lost about one cent daily to a low of $0.57 on Thursday March 19th, even an 18-year low of $0.55 at different points on that Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday before recovering to $0.58 on Monday March 23rd. It hovered around 60 to 63 cents for the next month, climbed to 65 cents on April 28th, 70 cents on June 9th, then a two-year high of 74 cents on September 1st.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, that increase was consistent with the increase in commodity prices (e.g. iron ore) over recent months.

Click here for each month's average AUD to USD rate since 1960 according to fxtop, ignoring those ads on avoiding Aussie recession, depression and doom, buy gold here. Yes, buy gold, but buy it from the Amen and the Beginning, gold that has been "fired out of the fire" Rev 3:18 .

Click here for other countries currency exchange rates and some history.


Events in 2020

Friday March 13th

Markets recover in Australia after the Worst Crash in US since 1987

The local market staged a remarkable recovery – coming back from a loss as much as 8.1pc to finish higher by 4.4pc for the day after the Prime Minister outlined a ban on mass gatherings (more than 500 people) from Monday.
The Prime Minister said the guidelines would apply to non-essential, organised gatherings of 500 people or more, and would not include public transport, airports or universities.
It followed a brutal more than 10pc sell off on US markets overnight - the worst crash since 1987. The Australian dollar has also been crunched, falling to lows of US62.32c (before coming back to US63c) as investors rush to hold US dollars. In the US, Dow Jones closed at 21,200.62 (from its Wednesday close at 23,553.22). The S & P 500 closed at 2,480.64 (from its Wednesday close at 2,741.38). Australia’s biggest bank names are being hammered in the market meltdown, to levels not seen since 2009. Banks have been building cash buffers as seen by the Exchange Settlement, or ES balances at the Reserve Bank of Australia, which have risen from around $2bn to close to $7bn. Companies are hoarding cash and tapping revolver credit facilities as a way of drawing on credit lines. Falls are despite the US Fed saying it would inject more than $US1½ trillion in liquidity this week to prevent “ominous trading conditions” from making the market contraction worse and after a temporary (15 minutes) halt to trade at one point - the second circuit breaker triggered this week.
ASX on Twitter: ASX doesn't use circuit breakers like #NYSE. We have AOTs—Anomalous Order Thresholds—that calculate reference prices for all stocks every minute and prevent the placing of aggressive orders (an order +/-10% the reference price). See: #Ausbiz #ASX
Across the Atlantic, new measures introduced by the European Central Bank failed to prevent European stocks dropping 11½ per cent in what was their worst-ever fall. The S&P 500 has now fallen 27pc from its record high three weeks ago and if the S&P/ASX 200 falls as much as expected today it will be down 32pc from its record high close of 7162.5. These falls are the worst since the global financial crisis but more worryingly, happening at a faster rate than they did at that time and are occurring at a time of record low interest rates. The ECB added EUR120bn to its QE program for 2020, while lowering bank capital ratios and saying it will focus on a new round of loans to small business. The Fed expanded its $60bn Treasury Bill programme to all Treasuries to match the maturity composition of Treasury securities outstanding, thereby officially restarting QE. “The aggressive move from the Fed makes it very clear that the Bank will not allow USD liquidity to dry up,” says NAB’s Rodrigo Catril. The Fed will offer $500bn in a three-month repo today, with a further $500bn three-month and a $500bn one-month repo tomorrow. These will continue each week, in addition to the $175bn daily and $45bn two-week repos twice per week.
The Fed uses repurchase agreements, also called "RPs" or "repos", to make collateralized loans to primary dealers. In a reverse repo or "RRP”, the Fed borrows money from primary dealers. The typical term of these operations is overnight, but the Fed can conduct these operations with terms out to 65 business days, or even 3 months.
In Australia, the RBA added a net $6.91bn of liquidity to the financial system via daily repo operations in an attempt to provide liquidity to the repo funding markets as the spread of the funding rate to the risk free rate widens.

Wednesday March 18th

PM: Don’t travel abroad Scott Morrison has given an unprecedented warning for all Australians not to travel abroad. Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people have also been banned as Australia declares a biosecurity emergency. Scott Morrison announced the measures on Wednesday morning and explained the move was the result of a recommendation from chief health officers around the country. The Prime Minister also warned Australians not to travel anywhere overseas as the travel ban to citizens is raised to its highest level in history. “This is a once in a hundred year type event.” “We are going to keep Australia running. We are going to keep Australia functioning. It won’t look like it normally does.” Mr Morrison also threw cold water on the idea of locking down Australian cities, saying “there is no short-term, quick fix to how this is dealt with in Australia”. “The idea that you can just turn everything off for two weeks and then turn it all back on again and it all goes away. That is not the evidence, that is not the facts, that is not the information and it is not our way through this.” “We are looking at a situation of at least six months for how we deal with this. It could be much longer than that. It could be shorter. That is unlikely, given the way we are seeing events unfold.” Aged-care facility residents will not be allowed to receive more than one visit of up to two visitors in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. Scott Morrison announced that certain exceptions could be made for end of life care patients. “There should be no large group visits or gatherings. Including social activities or entertainment to be permitted at this time. No school groups of any size should be allowed to visit aged care facilities,” the Prime Minister said. “Children aged 16 years or less should be visiting only by exception.”
Australian shares finished at their lowest levels since 2016, a 6.4pc daily drop, as new restrictions on travel and public gatherings stoked fears of a recession. Tourism names took another hit from the government’s ban on international travel, and despite concessions for the nation’s airlines. The local sell-down came after Wall Street jumped overnight following the White House’s plans for $1.2 trillion of stimulus. Meanwhile, the Aussie dollar is trading near 17-year lows - last at US60.06c.

Thursday March 19th

The AU dollar is falling sharply, hitting 18-year lows of US55.10c. Following the RBA rate cut to 0.25%, it clawed back to 56.31c, before dropping back to 55.73c. Early Friday morning it was back up to 57.47c.

Monday March 23rd

Queensland will be closed to visitors and holiday makers from midnight on Wednesday, with police stationed at airports and permits issued to workers needing to cross the border

Tuesday March 24th

Parliament passes $84bn stimulus package.
Federal parliament has rushed through $84 billion in stimulus measures, including amendments allowing for the extension of the $550 coronavirus supplement to students, before shutting down until August. A skeleton crew of MPs and senators passed the federal government’s two stimulus packages, amended to grant the social services minister broad powers to make changes to the stimulus payment without going through parliament; including rates, means testing, and residency requirements. The Australian reports that the Coalition is planning a form of support payment for temporary migrants stranded in Australia without work. Parliament also approved an “advance” of $40 billion for the finance minister to spend on unforeseen events from July 1.

Wednesday March 25th

Australian PM Scott Morrison announced a National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), led by former Fortescue boss Neville Power, who would co-ordinate “actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects” of the coronavirus pandemic. He said it was "about working cooperatively across private-to-private and public-to-private networks to unlock resources, break bottlenecks and fix problems so Australian families, businesses and communities are supported through the challenging months ahead." "At all times, our actions are guided by the best possible medical advice, while putting the economic and social wellbeing of all Australians front and centre of our response." The NCCC will be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The existing National Coordination Mechanism based in the Department of Home Affairs, which coordinates the cross jurisdictional response to non-health aspects of the pandemic, will report to the Commission, as will the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit based in the Treasury Department.

The commission also includes former Labor minister Greg Combet, public servant Jane Halton, former Toll Holdings chief executive Paul Little, EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna and former Telstra boss David Thodey. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Phil Gaetjens and Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo will also sit on the commission.

Anthony Albanese and his senior Labor frontbenchers began to openly attack the federal government’s stimulus measures, handling of the crisis and the new national COVID-19 co-ordination commission. Declaring there was a strong argument for an immediate stage-three shutdown that would close schools, the Opposition Leader blamed the government’s messaging and “new announcements every single day” for panic-buying. “I absolutely support stricter shutdowns and clear messages about them and a timetable on when things occur,” Mr Albanese said. However, Senior Labor MPs were divided over the shift from bipartisan support to open criticism, with one MP saying it ("open criticism") was the wrong strategy at the wrong time and a cynical move to remain part of the debate.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly acknowledged there was a split between health authorities and some governments on the scale and speed with which isolation measures should be implemented. He said governments had “turned off the tap at the border”, increased hygiene messaging and minimised contact between people through social distancing and quarantine measures.

Thursday March 26th 2020

The US Senate passed a massive $US2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package.

With increased computer server power being made available online, Australians can register their intent to claim social security via myGov. Once their account is set up the money will be backdated to when they first tried to contact Centrelink or, if they had been unable to get through, March 23.

Tuesday March 31st 2020

JobKeeper subsidy

Front Page of The Australian
Tuesday 31st March 2020
Click image for full screen

Register for JobKeeper here (note, you must have an ABN)

Go to JobKeeper (and JobSeeker) update announcement on 21st July.

Click here for further fine print from and examples of self-employed, employees with multiple jobs, businesses open less than 12 months, etc.

Basic Details on how it works

Update Wednesday 1st April.

Update Thursday 9th April.

Reserve Bank Involvement
On March 16th RBA governor Philip Lowe said that in response to a deterioration of trading liquidity in some markets as Australia’s financial system adjusts to the coronavirus, the central bank “stands ready to purchase government bonds in the secondary market to support the smooth functioning of that market ... a key pricing benchmark for the Australian financial system.” That should keep interest rates low, and ensure the massive boost in government debt issuance finds ready buyers.

In late April, it was reported that the RBA had purchased around $50bn in state and federal government bonds since March as part of a new quantitative easing program that has kept the government’s three year borrowing rate at 0.25 per cent.

Since late April we have scaled back purchases significantly and have not needed to purchase any bonds for some time,” Dr Lowe said on 21st July.

Update 21st July Jobkeeper 2.0 (and Jobseeker)

JobKeeper payments will be extended for millions of stood-down workers — who usually work 20 hours or more — but they will be cut from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight from September 28 to January 3. Wage subsidy recipients who usually work less than 20 hours a week at their nominated employer will get a lower payment of $750 a fortnight from September.
Between January 4 and March 28 the two payments will lower to $1000 and $650 respectively.

Businesses signed up to JobKeeper will also have their turnover rate assessed quarterly from September till March.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has welcomed the six-month extension to JobKeeper wage subsidies, saying thousands of his workers will be dependent on them for months. The national airline has been largely grounded by the closure of international and some internal state borders, and have been one of the biggest recipients of JobKeeper.

Jobseeker Update
With regards to the dole, from August 4, JobSeeker recipients will have to apply for four jobs a month and will be penalised if they do not accept job offers without a valid reason. Their payment may be cancelled and they may have to wait four weeks before they can reapply for income support. “The penalties regime will kick in if people refuse a job that has been provided and offered through that process,” Mr Morrison said in Canberra. “So if there is a job to be taken and a job that is being offered, then it is an obligation, a mutual obligation, for those who are on JobSeeker to take those jobs where they’re on offer.

The coronavirus supplement of $550 – added to the current welfare base rate of $565 per fortnight — will be slashed to $250 from September 25, and the reduced supplement will run till December 31.

On November 10th, it was announced that the supplement will be extended to March 2021, but it will be cut from $250 to $150 a fortnight from January 1st.

Events in 2021

Front Page of The Australian
Wednesday 14th July 2021
Click image for full screen

NSW subsidy

Commencing 15th July 2021 it was a time when there was a large amount of uncertainty in NSW due to the Covid Delta Outbreak.


* Updated Wednesday 28th July

Click here for PM announcement.

Increased financial support for hundreds of thousands of workers in New South Wales will be available from next week.


** End of File

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