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Australia news live updates: NSW election 2023 underway as polling booths open; Dutton facing voice dilemma – latest news

Key events

Share market falls for seventh straight week

The local share market has endured its seventh consecutive losing week as interest rate hikes and fears about the stability of the global banking system weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished the trading week yesterday afternoon down 13.4 points, or 0.19%, to 6,955.2, after having been down as much as 0.65 per cent in the first 15 minutes of trading, Australian Associated Press reports.

For the week the ASX200 lost 39.6 points, or 0.57%. Its seven-week losing streak is its longest such stretch since nine consecutive weeks of losses during the global financial crisis in mid-2008.

Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Recent weeks have seen the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in the US and the Swiss investment bank, Credit Suisse. On Friday shares in Deutsche Bank, another European investment bank that has struggled since the GFC, fell 14%.

Overnight the Bank of England raised rates by 25 basis points, a widely anticipated move after official data released Wednesday showed higher than expected inflation, with consumer prices rising 10.4 per cent in the year to February.

While some economists have suggested that the global banking chaos might prompt the Reserve Bank to pause its rate hike campaign at its next meeting a week from Tuesday, Tadgell said he thought it was “highly probable” that Australia’s central bank would again hike rates.

The ASX’s 11 official sectors were mixed on Friday, with five gaining ground and six losing it.

On Friday, NAB was the biggest loser among the Big Four banks, falling 1.6 per cent to $27.18. CBA dropped 1.2 per cent to $95.84, ANZ retreated 1.1 per cent to $22.52 and Westpac subtracted 0.6 per cent to $21.20.


Good morning and welcome to our rolling news coverage on a day that will be dominated by the state election in New South Wales.

The election promises to be the closest for 16 years following a run of fairly comfortable Coalition wins. Labor, under the leadership of Chris Minns, believes it will end its 12-year stint in the wilderness but the Coalition is pinning its hopes on premier Dominic Perrottet’s disciplined campaign. The final Newspoll of the election pointed to a Labor win by 54.5% to 45.5%, a 6.5% swing since the 2019 election and enough to secure 10 seats. Can they do it? Here’s everything you need to know about the big day.

A constitutional expert has described the proposed the proposed Indigenous voice as a “safe and sensible” legal option, dismissing concerns that the advisory body would be too powerful. George Williams, professor of law at the University of New South Wales, says the change is “strikingly modest” and “should remove doubts that parliament is fettered or limited”. Our chief political correspondent, Paul Karp, writes today that opposition leader Peter Dutton faces a dilemma about whether to support the reform. Go with yes and he risks being sidelined. Back a no vote and he will cement his reputation as a wrecker.

The Australian stock market could be in for another sticky day on Monday after shares fell sharply again in Europe overnight amid continued fears about the banking system. In Friday’s session in Sydney, the ASX fell for the seventh week running and it was down by 0.19% on the day. Futures point to the index opening down 1% on Monday morning. It comes as Australian banks think the RBA will raise rates again a week on Tuesday despite the market turmoil which some have speculated might bring an end to the record 10 successive months of hikes.

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