RBA interest rate decision, currencies in focus

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to trade mixed at the Tuesday open as investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision.

Futures pointed to lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 22,675 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 22,630. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,714.44.

Stocks in Australia, meanwhile, were set to open little changed. The SPI futures contract was at 6,019, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,014.60. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is expected to announce its interest rate decision at about 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

“The RBA this afternoon can confidently expected to be on hold as it continues to assess the outlook, where even in its best-case upside scenario, full economic recovery will take years,” Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank,

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Coronavirus: Israel government reimposes lockdown measures after spike in cases | World News

Israel’s government has ordered the immediate closure of bars, gyms, nightclubs, swimming pools and event halls after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was necessary because the country was close to requiring another total lockdown.

“The pandemic is spreading – that’s as clear as day. It is rising daily… it is dragging with it, contrary to what we had been told, a trail of critically ill patients,” Mr Netanyahu told the cabinet.

Israel has been reporting around 1,000 new cases a day recently – higher than during the peak of the initial outbreak.

The decision also restricts people at restaurants to 20 inside and 30 outside, while only 19 worshippers will be allowed in synagogues.

Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel was close to needing another blanket lockdown

Buses will be capped at 20 passengers, with open windows and no air conditioning, reported The Times

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Coronavirus: Stocks surge globally after biggest daily rise since 2015 in China | Business News

Global stock markets have surged despite rising clusters of coronavirus infections threatening to derail economic recovery.

Investors took the lead from China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite index, which jumped by 5.8% on Monday to record its biggest daily increase in five years.

Analysts said the share spending spree was fuelled by cheap funding to invest in an economy that analysts predict will recover faster and better than other major countries battling new waves of infections.

They include the US, the world’s largest economy, which is enduring rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in 41 states with Florida witnessing record daily growth in confirmed sufferers.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York, said only a big acceleration in fatalities would likely affect market sentiment as the S&P 500 on Wall St ground out a fifth day of consecutive gains on Monday.

Europe and US trading saw sectors with strong exposure

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OnlyFans could be hit with bill for more than three years’ worth of unpaid taxes | Science & Tech News

OnlyFans, a content subscription service popular with amateur pornographic models, could face a VAT bill covering more than three years’ worth of uncollected taxes, Sky News has learnt.

The service, which has spiked in popularity during the coronavirus lockdown, functions like a social media platform where fans pay a monthly subscription fee to access content creators’ protected posts.

Last week, for the first time since it began operating in 2016, the service started charging VAT on fans’ monthly subscriptions following discussions with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC is currently reviewing OnlyFans’ tax arrangements

Sky News understands HMRC is currently reviewing whether the company should have been collecting VAT since its inception.

HMRC could issue the business with a penalty doubling the amount of tax owed if it assesses OnlyFans was careless or deliberately inaccurate with its returns.

The company stated the review of its tax status was

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