Trending Financial News 1 August

Commbank app and Netbank crash

Commonwealth Bank’s mobile banking app, the Commbank app, and its internet banking portal, Netbank, both went offline yesterday afternoon affecting thousands of Australians.

The app and net portal could not connect to the bank’s systems and users were left unable to login to online services or could not see their account balances and use services.

Commonwealth Bank tweeted last night about 7pm that all services had returned to normal.

New Commbank app wants to help you – a lot

The Commonwealth Bank Commbank app has been updated and version 4.0 has been released with extensive new market leading features.

CommBank app 4.0 includes budgeting and goal-setting tools, more notifications and payment management tools.

The app guides customers to appropriate products for them – like a low-rate credit card for customers with a revolving credit card balance and helps customers find government rebates and payments.

Upgraded security settings include location-based security so users can block transactions outside a designated area.

S seven million Australians us Commonwealth Bank’s digital platforms including 5.6 million who use the app. 

Inflation rise to stop rate cuts – for now

Inflation in Australia rose over the last three months, taking pressure off the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates again in August.

Fuel prices rose 10 per cent in the June quarter while medical service costs also rose, driving the annualised inflation rate to 1.6 per cent, up from 1.3 per cent three months ago.

Futures markets have priced in 90 per cent expectation of the RBA leaving the Australian cash rate unchanged in August, after two months of rate cuts.

Petrol, holidays and smokes all go up

Smokers, drivers and holiday makers have all been hit by big price rises in the last three months. Medical costs have also risen strongly pushing the overall inflation rate 0.3 percentage points higher to 1.6 per cent for the June quarter.

“Fuel prices rose 10.2 per cent in the June quarter,” said ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman.

Petrol prices had fallen 8.7 per cent in the three months prior.

 After 20 years of rising, housing costs FALL

The price of housing, for both home-owners and renters, fell over the last three months, according to the latest inflation data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is the first fall in housing costs reported by the quarterly ABS inflation series in 20 years.

Housing costs were down 0.2 per cent in June but up 0.5 per cent over the last year.

The ABS said lower electricity and gas prices, weak housing market conditions and increasing rental vacancy rates were the reasons behind the fall.

Will the RBA cut interest rates AGAIN in August?

The Reserve Bank board meets on Tuesday the 6 August to consider, again, cutting interest rates. The RBA has cut rates twice in the last two months. The governor of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe has signalled that the central bank is prepared to cut rates again.

Overnight, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates, for the first time in 10 years, by 0.25 per cent to a range of 2.0 – 2.25 per cent. The central bank issued a statement indicating it is prepared to cut rates again.

Futures markets have priced in a 90 per cent expectation that the Reserve Bank board will leave the Australian cash rate unchanged in August at 1.0 per cent. The market firmed from 70 per cent yesterday after the release of quarterly inflation numbers showing a rise in the Australian CPI to 1.6 per cent.

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