ASIC to seek important changes to lending rules if case against Westpac is lost; Federal Government announces boost to aged care funding on the eve of Royal Commission into Aged Care; and Australia's income markets are signalling tough times ahead. Here's what's happening in markets today. 

What I'm reading

ASIC will get its way

ASIC is unhappy with the way banks have assessed potential mortgagees for creditworthiness. While the final report from the Royal Commission appeared to let them off the hook last week, ASIC has stated it will seek changes to the law if neccessary to ensure customers are assessed based on their true spending habits. 

Read article

One Royal Commission down, one to go

The Royal Commission into Aged Care starts today, and to kick off proceedings, the Federal Government has announced a $662 million boost to funding. 

Read article

Income markets flashing red

Last week, the RBA changed its policy stance and slashed its economic forecasts. As markets and economists have absorbed the impact, the 6 month bank bill rate has shot up to 2.15% - above the 10-year government bond rate. Other leading indicators are telling a similar story. 

Read analysis

Stocks to watch

Half yearly results were released today for the following stocks:

  1. Amcor (AMC)
  2. Aurizon (AZJ)
  3. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN)
  4. GPT Group (GPT)
  5. JB Hifi (JBH)
  6. Praemium (PPS)

Key market data

  • ASX Futures: 6,053.0 (-0.61%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7084 (-0.05%)
  • ASX200: 6,071.50 (-0.34%)
  • S&P 500: 2,707.88 (+0.07%)
  • China A50: 11,496.77 (unchanged since Feb 1)
  • Australia 2-yr bond: 1.708 (+0.89%)
  • Australia 10-yr bond: 2.088 (+0.34%)
  • US 2-yr bond: 2.467 (-0.64%)
  • US 10-yr bond: 2.634 (-0.87%)
  • Gold (USD/oz): 1,317.80 (+0.28%)
  • Copper (USD/lb): 2.813 (-0.57%)
  • Brent Oil (USD/bbl): 62.10 (+0.76%)
  • 62% Iron Ore (USD/t): 91.50 (+32.3% - Tianjin closed last week, and Vale closures before that)

Upcoming releases and events

  • The Chinese markets reopen today after a week long closure for Chinese New Year
  • British GDP data for Q4 is released tonight Sydney time
  • ABS home loan and property investment loan data for December is released tomorrow morning
  • The NAB Business Confidence Index for January is released tomorrow morning.

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