10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning!

Victoria has hit its 90% double-dose vaccine milestone. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement this morning, saying Victoria had “done it tougher than anyone over the past two years” and it was an “amazing achievement”. The state relaxed restrictions last week in anticipation of hitting the target.

Household power bills are set to fall over the next three years, according to a new report from the Australian Energy Market Commission. This will be driven by an influx of cheaper renewable power into the electricity grid as government commitments to cut greenhouse gases ramp up. This will be felt most strongly in south-east Queensland, where annual bills are expected to fall by $126, or about 10%.

A new rental affordability index shows rental stress has risen in almost every part of Australia except Sydney and Melbourne. A combination of factors including migration to regional Australia have served to push up prices and reduce affordability. Regional Australia recorded an annual rate of rental growth of 12.5% in September 2021.

Business confidence has seen a resurgence across most industries in October, as NSW and Victoria reopened and companies returned to pre-pandemic trading. A newly released survey conducted by HSBC found 65% of Australian businesses are optimistic they can generate growth over the next 12 months, in line with international peers. However businesses named supply chain chaos driving delays and inflation as an ongoing concern.

A flurry of cryptocurrency and digital currency news around over the past day — let’s dig in. The RBA has signalled that it is giving serious consideration to the use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) among retail banks. In the short term, CBDCs could give banks the opportunity to settle high-value transactions instantly and transparently. But commercial banks want the central bank to go further and get ahead of the trend.

Meanwhile, the ATO says cryptocurrency investors cannot be relied upon to track their own investment income and tax liabilities. As new investors flood into the market, ATO commissioner Chris Jordan said the organisation is relying more on data from exchanges and brokers themselves. This kind of data lets the ATO “better analyse where someone needs a nudge in the right direction”, he said.

At its annual general meeting, Rest Super’s chief investment officer told members that the fund plans on investing in crypto. The public disclosure makes Rest the first of the major super funds to signal material investment in crypto assets, as regulators and policymakers tentatively warm to the asset class. It came as no surprise to the market, where it’s thought that the first fund to invest will trigger a wave of similar commitments.

One more. Financial comparison website Finder has launched a new cryptocurrency investment product offering 4% returns. ‘Earn’ will allow users to deposit up to $10,000, for which they will be compensated in stablecoins tethered to the value of the Australian dollar. But users may face capital gains tax obligations when they attempt to redeem that interest in real Australian currency.

According to PayPal, social media spending was up 40% over the last year as businesses moved to meet their customers on their favoured platforms. Unsurprisingly, Instagram was the platform of choice for more than 62% of young shoppers, but Facebook wasn’t far behind. Peter Cowan, managing director at PayPal Australia, said his team is of the mind that social commerce is poised to become one of the “biggest trends we’ll see in online shopping” over the next few years.

Since his November 6 Twitter poll, Tesla CEO has sold 9.2 million shares worth $US9.9 billion. Musk tweeted that he would sell 10% of his stock if users of the social media platform approved. A majority of his followers agreed with the sale.

BONUS ITEM

A plot of digital land just sold for $US2.43 million in Decentraland, a popular metaverse environment. The property just tops the average home price in Manhattan and beats out San Francisco’s average. Metaverse coins have been skyrocketing, with Decentraland’s native token mana up nearly 60% in the past week.