Markets Overview

  • ASX SPI 200 futures down 0.5% to 7,145.00
  • Dow Average down 1.4% to 35,255.99
  • Aussie little changed at 0.7173 per US$
  • U.S. 10-year yield rose 8.8bps to 2.0294%
  • Australia 3-year bond yield fell 1bp to 1.53%
  • Australia 10-year bond yield little changed at 2.11%
  • Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,829.49
  • Brent futures down 0.3% to $91.32/bbl

Economic Events

  • 9:30am: (AU) RBA’s Lowe-Testimony
  • 11am: (AU) Australia to Sell A$1 Billion 0.25% 2024 Bonds

Australia’s parliament passed a bill overhauling aspects of its pensions system in an effort to lift retirement savings for women and close what has been a stubborn gender gap.

Starting in July, the nation will scrap the A$450 ($323.1) a month earnings threshold before which employers contribute cash to retirement funds, federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Superannuation Minister Jane Hume said on Thursday.

“This will remove an outdated structural feature of the superannuation system and in doing so will improve equity in the system,” Hume’s office said in a statement announcing the legislation’s passage.

The amendment was a key promise by Australia’s government last year in a bid to improve the financial security of women as the nation continues a fast-paced recovery from its first recession in about three decades in 2020. The government is seeking to improve its standing among women ahead of a national election due by May following series of sexual harassment scandals among the nation’s lawmakers.

The bill also includes a measure allowing earlier tax concessions for older workers contributing to their funds.

Other News

There’s been Versace X Fendi and Gucci X Balenciaga – but now, there’s a new collaboration in town that will have fashion houses quaking in their boots: Greggs X Primark.

That’s right, British bakery chain Greggs is set to launch a fashion collaboration with Primark – and people can’t fathom that it’s not an early April Fools prank.

Over the weekend, Primark displays were filled with Greggs sausage rolls and steak bakes which hilariously prompted shoppers to blast the culprits online.

It turns out, it was all leading up to Tuesday’s announcement.

The brands will release a first-of-its-kind clothing range on sale in 60 Primark stores from February 19th. The world’s largest Greggs, Tasty by Greggs, will reside in the Birmingham store as part of the collaboration.