As it happened: ASX flat ahead of tomorrow’s budget, business conditions and


Good morning!
I’m Stephen Letts from the ABC’s business team, and along with Michael Janda and Kate Ainsworth, we’ll be taking you through the day’s play on the markets and in finance, and as always, aiming to make every post a winner.

The auspices are not brilliant, with the ASX futures pointing to a slight fall on opening (-0.2%) despite Wall Street finishing the week with its eighth gain on the trot.

To be precise, the Dow (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) were up on Friday, while the Nasdaq ended marginally in the red.

Europe’s Eurostoxx 600 (+0.8%) and the UK’s FTSE (0.6%) both hit record highs, pushing the MSCI’s all-country world index to within 0.2% of its record close.

The US dollar and key bond rates edged higher on expectations that April CPI data out this week would reveal a fourth consecutive month of stronger-than-expected inflation, a result that may well price out any rate cut in the US this year.

As the day rolls on, expect the slow drip, drip, drip of pre-budget releases to continue. We’ll keep you updated.

So, sit tight, here we go for another week.

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