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5 Things you need to know today

Switzer Daily
9 December 2021

1. Omicron news bodes well for travel stocks
US travel stock prices surged overnight after two drug companies say their vaccines work against the Omicron variant after three doses. After a two-day rally for share prices on positive Omicron news, overall stock markets were flat overnight, but the news from Pfizer and BioNTech that three doses of their vaccine are effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant, has seen the share prices of Norwegian Cruise Line up 10% and Carnival up 7% overnight on Wall Street, which augers well for local travel stock prices today.

2. Regulators move on BNPL companies
Regulation for the likes of AfterPay and Zip could mean shoppers, not store owners, will have to pay the fees on a purchase. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says regulation won’t be ready until mid-2022, but the Reserve Bank has told the Government that it wants BNPL companies to remove contract rules that say shopkeepers can’t pass on the cost of their services to customers. Interestingly, the news didn’t hurt Zip’s share price that rose 10.9% yesterday and Afterpay was up 4.24%.

3. Parents giving kids too much money!
Latest figures show $120bn was passed on from older Australians to their younger family members but Treasury says this has to change. The AFR says a wealth battle between baby boomers and younger Australians has been fuelled by a Treasury report, which says there aren’t sufficient taxes on older, asset-rich Australians. The Intergenerational Report effectively says workers will pay a larger share of tax unless the nation gets serious about taxing those with high-priced homes and big super balances. This message won’t get a run at next year’s federal election.

4. Mass adoption in the Metaverse space via ETFs
The rapidly expanding and ever-changing nature of the metaverse is hard to comprehend, let alone keep pace with. Many look to Mark Zuckerberg’s rebranding of Facebook to ‘Meta’ as the clearest example of adoption in the space, which he called “the next frontier” in human communication and interaction. Now, the latest way for investors to capitalise on metaverse projects is via ETFs such as the fresh off the press Indexx Metaverse ETF from First Trust Advisors LP, as well as the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (META). “New funds tracking the trend are popping up in South Korea and Canada, and analysts estimate the market will reach nearly $800 billion by 2024 -- an annual growth of about 13%,” Bloomberg reports.

5. ASX to fall as Omicron spooks the market yet again
Fresh concerns that Omicron may still cloud the economic outlook has injected fear into the markets, bearing down on the ASX that is poised to fall out of the gates. ASX futures were down 33 points or 0.4% to 7384 near 7.05am AEDT, with the AUD rebounding to 0.8%. On Wall St near 3.15pm: Dow +0.1%, S&P 500 +0.2%, Nasdaq +0.5%. RBA Governor Philip Lowe to present his speech ‘Payments: the Future?’ to the Payments Summit 2021 – online at 9.05am AEDT.


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