ANZ reduces variable rate by 27 basis points: Midday roundup

ANZ has made the shock decision of reducing its variable home loan rate by 27 basis points, besting its rivals following the Reserve Bank cut earlier this week.

The ANZ standard variable rate is now at 6.13%, equal lowest with NAB among the big four banks.

“This month, we reviewed a range of factors including the Reserve Bank’s decision to decrease the official cash rate this week, our competitive position and a recent easing in the cost of our wholesale funds,” ANZ Australia chief executive Philip Chronican said in a statement.

However, rates for business loans will only be cut by a quarter of a percentage point.

Budget to target capital gains, baby bonus

New reports indicate the federal government will target capital gains tax and the baby bonus in next week’s budget.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare told the Nine Network yesterday there is the possibility of closing a particular loophole which exempts foreign owners from paying capital gains tax.

“It’s only smart and appropriate that if somebody from overseas buys a house and then sells it for a lot more they pay tax for it as well,” Clare said.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury also told News some investors were making profits without paying “their fair share of Australian tax”.

The Australian Financial Review has also reported the government will focus on cutting the Baby Bonus in the budget.

Australian dollar nears one-year low

The Australian dollar has continued to fall this morning, following a move from investors to put more money in the American dollar.

“Currency markets have certainly exploded into life,” Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Mike Jones told AAP.

“Investors have bought the US dollar with gay abandon and the Australian dollar has been caught up in that; it’s copped an absolute hiding.”

The Australian dollar was sitting at just 100.78 cents at 11.35 AEST.

Shares flat on mixed offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has risen higher this morning, following the plummeting value of the Australian dollar.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 34.3 points or 0.7% to 5,232.7 at 11.35 AEST, while in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 points or 0.2% to 15,082.6.

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