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China growth key to Australian economy, Bitcoin gains


The S&P/ASX 200 rallied 0.45% intra-day, led by miners on higher commodities prices, and banks, but closed off the day's highs, up just 6 points at 7412.40. The Australian dollar continues to build support above US75c, while Bitcoin rallied to trade above US$47,500, a level not seen since early January this year. Support is pegged around the US$45,550 level, with a break higher seen reaching US$52,073.

Star Entertainment

Matt Bekier has resigned as managing director and CEO of Star Entertainment Group after issues raised in the public hearings in connection with the review of The Star Sydney being undertaken by Adam Bell SC.

"While the Review remains ongoing, Bekier informed the board that as managing director and CEO he is accountable for the effectiveness and adequacy of the company’s processes, policies, people and culture," Star says. "Bekier said the right thing to do was for him to take responsibility."

Bekier will step down from the board immediately, and will work with it to transition his executive responsibilities in an orderly manner. Bekier’s final departure date is yet to be determined.

The review by Bell into whether Star is suitable for a casino licence in NSW revealed that Star Entertainment Group disguised about $900m in transactions linked to Chinese high rollers as "hotel expenses" to circumvent rules and access cash to gamble. Shares fell at the start of trade on Monday, but gained through the day to close 0.3% higher.

Russia war with Ukraine

Ukrainian-born multi-millionaire Leon Kamenev, a co-founder of the highly successful takeaway app Menulog, has pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the millions of refugees fleeing his former homeland.

One month into the Ukraine invasion, the Sydney-based Mr Kamenev, who is worth $542m and listed as Australia’s 235th wealthiest person on The List – Australia’s Richest 250, said he was very passionate and concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“What is happening in Ukraine is horrible. The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine will probably be the size of Sydney’s population,” the media-shy Mr Kamenev told The Australian.

Australia’s economy

In an exclusive interview with Livewire, Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital says the main issue for investors heading into 2023 and beyond might be to what degree global growth will slow down as a result of higher rates flowing from higher inflation from the war in Ukraine. Slower growth, or maybe even fear of recession, may become a bigger concern in 2023 than it has been in 2022.

“Commodity price increases will be across the board. Looking at energy, we produce coal and gas and are a net energy exporter. So we're going to be getting higher prices for our coal and gas. Obviously, we will also pay higher prices for oil, which means higher petrol prices at the pump. That's the downside, but we're also seeing higher prices for grains, particularly wheat, which is great news for Australian farmers. We're getting higher prices for many metals, because of Russia's role in supplying those metals. Nickel is an obvious one. Even iron ore is higher than it was before,” Oliver tells Livewire.

“There is a potential risk for Australia that emerges though. So far, Australia is benefiting from this commodity boom. If the geopolitical tensions spill over to encompass China to a greater degree, it could potentially result in sanctions on them. This could actually cause harm to the Australian economy if Chinese growth is harmed as a result of such sanctions. That's a risk in all of this that we need to watch out for as we go into 2023, or even over the next six to 12 months. If China gets involved in a way that causes sanctions to be placed on them, that would adversely affect the Australian economy.”

AUD/USD US75.20c

WTI currently US$111.22 a barrel

Brent crude oil US$117.02 a barrel

Spot gold US$1939.24 an ounce

Bitcoin US$47,126

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