ASX opens in the red ahead of expected RBA rate rise, while Tesla founder Elon Musk threatens to terminate Twitter takeover

The Australian share market has opened in the red, ahead of an expected interest rate rise by the Reserve Bank this afternoon to curb surging inflation, and Tesla founder Elon Musk has threatened to abandon his takeover bid for Twitter.

The RBA is tipped to raise rates again by 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent, which would lift repayments on a $750,000 mortgage by $99 a month according to RateCity.

ANZ predicted the central bank would increase borrowing costs by 0.4 per cent to 0.75 per cent today.

Official interest rates could lift from the current 0.35 per cent to 1.75 per cent by year’s end.

At 10:15am AEST, the All Ordinaries index was down half a per cent to 7,400, while the ASX 200 had also lost 0.5 per cent to 7,173.

All the big banks were in the red, even though banks benefit from higher interest rates because it means higher revenue.

Gold miners also took a hit after a fall in the price of the precious metal overnight.

Newcrest Mining lost 0.9 per cent to $24.19 , while BHP rose 0.24 per cent to $46.45.

The best performers on the ASX 200 in early trade were investment firm Janus Henderson (+2.6pc), investment firm Magellan Financial (+2.3pc), and payments company EML Payments (+1.8).

Leading the losses were pharmaceutical company, Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals (-3.6pc), gold miner Gold Road Resources (-2.3pc), and the stock market operator ASX (-2.1pc).

Twitter takeover

Electric car billionaire Elon Musk has threatened to walk away from his $US44 billion ($61 billion) takeover bid for Twitter after accusing the social media giant of refusing to give him information about fake accounts and spam.

Mr Musk’s lawyers sent a letter to Twitter’s chief legal officer, Vijaya Gadde, who accused the company of “resisting and thwarting” giving the billionaire information about “spam bot” accounts.

In the letter, a lawyer for Mr Musk called it a “clear material breach” of the terms of their merger agreement, and said he reserved all rights to terminate his takeover bid.

“Twitter’s latest offer to simply provide additional details regarding the company’s own testing methodologies, whether through written materials or verbal explanations, is tantamount to refusing Mr Musk’s data requests,” the letter said.

Mr Musk said he needs the data to conduct his own analysis of Twitter users because he did not believe the company’s “lax testing methodologies.”

Twitter said that it planned to enforce the completion of the deal on agreed terms.

“Twitter has and will continue to cooperatively share information with (Mr) Musk to consume the transaction in accordance with the terms of the major agreement,” the company said in a statement.

‘Buyer’s remorse’

The salvo has prompted speculation that Mr Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is falling apart as it is not the first time that the eccentric billionaire has publicly suggested his purchase of Twitter may not happen.

Dennis Dick from Bright Trading said it was “fairly obvious that Musk has buyer’s remorse and he is trying whatever to get a reduction in price, and I think he may succeed,” he told Reuters.

Last month, Mr Musk tweeted that the deal was “temporarily on hold” and said he would not move forward with the offer until the company showed proof that spam bots account for fewer than 5 per cent of its users.

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