Note from the MD: It’s crunch time for the Australian economy

Many have written off the Jobs and Skills Summit as a talkfest, but let’s dare to dream that it might go some way towards bringing us together to tackle our shared economic challenges and kickstart a new era of national co-operation.

Many have written off the Jobs and Skills Summit as a talkfest, but let’s dare to dream that it might go some way towards bringing us together to tackle our shared economic challenges and kickstart a new era of national co-operation.

More than 100 delegates will be putting their best suggestions forward, and Treasurer Jim Chalmers says there’s no shortage of terrific ideas up for discussion.

The omission of key players such as the CEOs of the Big Four banks is unfortunate, but the interests of business will be well represented by the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group and the Australian Chamber of Commerce, among others.

How to keep unemployment low and improve living standards while meeting Australia’s dire need for more and better-skilled workers is the big question.

The union movement wants the summit to focus on strengthening workers’ bargaining powers so as to get real wage rises going again, hopefully in line with the rising cost of living.

For instance, private healthcare is expected to take a toll on the average Aussie, with insurance premiums increasing by an average of 2.7%. Cancer, one of the leading causes of death in Australia, could end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat per person per year.

As Business Council boss Jennifer Westacott says, a win from the business sector’s perspective would be consensus on how to build a more resilient and productive economy that can compete and prosper effectively at a global scale.

We have a choice to make. We can either be a country frozen in time, overtaken by our rivals, or a nation at the frontier accessing the opportunities of technology and wealth creation.

Australia needs to diversify and strengthen its economic base, and to become more flexible so it can quickly respond to an increasingly volatile and complex world.

Treasury says it will invite more submissions and engage the wider community ahead of the release of the Employment White Paper that will be the end product of the summit process, so this is a rare opportunity for everyone to help reorient Australia’s national roadmap for the better.

Meanwhile, the XJO is struggling to break above the 200-day moving average, as the 50-day MA converges closer to the 200-day. Sentiment has been knocked recently with commentary on Friday from FED chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole Symposium.

He had a short and terse speech whereby he made it clear the Fed will not be shifting to a rate-cut cycle anytime soon. On the contrary, Powell pointed out the need to take rates into restrictive territory and to hold them at higher levels for some time until the Fed is confident inflation is getting back down to the Federal Open Market Committee’s 2% goal.

Powell openly acknowledged that the effort to reduce inflation “will also bring some pain to households and businesses”. In short, the FED will try to rein in inflation at the possible expense of the markets.

Implied volatility has increased in lockstep with increased volatility in wider markets to 15.2% with an IV rank of 30. Although volatility has increased, with an IV rank of 30, we still see now as an opportune time to buy some cost-effective protection.

We currently see the XJO 200-day moving average and 50-day moving average consolidating, with the price looking to break out to either upside or downside. With any moves up we should expect resistance at 7150, and any moves down expect support at 6830.

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On Friday at 12pm (AEST), we will be joined by Prescient’s CEO and MD Steven Yatomi-Clarke for a fascinating discussion on how the company is helping take the cancer conversation from ‘fight’ towards a ‘cure’. Click here to attend.

Reach Markets has been engaged by Prescient Therapeutics Limited to assist with their investor communications and may receive fees for its services.

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