Morning business roundup

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Read a sample of the Morning Business Roundup from today.

Market Reports

  • Australian Market Report: Australian shares have closed higher on Thursday, with banks and miners leading strength though broader market gains were checked by generally subdued regional markets amid trade war worries. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index close up 17.6 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 6,262.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries gained 25.9 points, or 0.41 per cent, to 6,355.0 points..... [more]

  • U.S. Market Report: U.S. stocks were set for their biggest drop in a week on Thursday as weak earnings reports were compounded by a strong dollar that not only hit metal prices and weighed on miners, but also raised concerns about future corporate revenue growth..... [more]

  • North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are lower today with shares in Brazil off the most. The Bovespa is down 0.88% while Mexico's IPC is off 0.75% and U.S.'s S&P 500 is lower by 0.21%..... [more]

  • European Market Report: European markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The FTSE 100 gained 0.10%, while the DAX led the CAC 40 lower. They fell 0.62% and 0.56% respectively..... [more]

  • Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished lower today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is down 0.53% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 0.38% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.13%..... [more]

Australian Business News

  • Reserve Bank interest rates stuck on hold even though unemployment and wages are stalled. The Government keeps reassuring workers that wage growth is just around the corner — as long as strong employment growth continues..... [more]

  • Unemployment rate falls to 5½-year low.... [more]

  • Young women are storming into Australia's workforce adding 60,000 jobs since this time last year and leaving their male counterparts in their wake. Women aged 15-24 have more than doubled young males' performance in the job market, beating men by more than 3 per cent on the employment to population ratio and unemployment despite their participation rate being effectively equal..... [more]

  • The Perth property market is at its most affordable on record as falling prices and slowly rising wages give potential buyers their best chance of securing a home. Housing Industry Association figures show Perth housing is also the most affordable among the nation’s capital cities..... [more]

  • Up to 7.7 million individuals who hold Australian Business Numbers could be slugged with renewal fees as part of federal government reforms to tackle the black economy. Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer will release a consultation paper on Friday to guide a revamp of the 20-year old ABN system. An ABN is unique identifier that allows the holder to run a business..... [more]

  • The size of the rebound in WA’s retail property bucked the trend in other States, a Ray White Commercial report found. The findings are in the agency’s Between the Lines WA Commercial Investment Activity Financial Year Review July 2018..... [more]

  • Figures show extent of WA property market wipe-out since end of mining boom.... [more]

  • Not one bank-run retail superannuation fund has made it into the "top 10" list of funds — whether it be across one or 10 years. The top performers are all industry-run growth funds, according to the latest report from superannuation research house Chant West..... [more]

  • Diversified mining and metals group South32 Ltd has beaten its metallurgical coal output guidance for 2017/18, boosted by better than expected production at its Illawarra, NSW, project even as fourth-quarter output dipped 24 per cent. Output of metallurgical or coking coal, which is used in steel production, fell to 1.1 million tonnes in the June quarter from 1.4 million tonnes a year earlier, the company said in a statement..... [more]

  • Venus Metals obtains high-grade vanadium concentrate in Youanmi metallurgical tests.... [more]

  • Woodside Petroleum has struck a tolling deal with North West Shelf LNG partners which could clear the way for gas from its proposed Browse project to be processed at its Karratha plant. However, chief executive Peter Coleman today said an agreement between the NWS and Browse ventures may not be finalised until the end of the year..... [more]

  • Ausmex Mining Group identifies high-grade cobalt, copper and gold at Burra project.... [more]

  • Santos said on Thursday it has cut net debt by four per cent since the start of the second quarter, helped by higher oil prices and may revive dividends in August. Second quarter production fell 3.4 per cent from a year ago to 14.2 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), said Santos, which which in May rejected a $10.8 billion takeover by US-based investor Harbour Energy..... [more]

  • Adani's rail line to service its controversial Queensland mine should be in public hands and the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani should be paying for it, says former state under treasurer Sir Leo Hielscher. Sir Leo said he supported the mooted $16.5 billion project in Queensland but said the public was being short-changed..... [more]

  • The New South Wales Government has renewed part of the coal exploration licence for the controversial Shenhua Watermark project on the Liverpool Plains in the north-west of the state. The announcement came with a promise not to release other parts of the Liverpool Plains for exploration..... [more]

  • Former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce has warned the live cattle trade could be shut down if the live sheep export industry is banned. The Nationals MP is on his way to Western Australia to back sheep farmers threatened by the proposal put forward by Labor and his coalition colleague Sussan Ley..... [more]

  • Russian Government officials have sent a warning to WA grain growers during the first day of CBH’s international study tour, saying the country will “overrun” Australian grain in Asian markets once grain transport issues are rectified in the country’s south. More than 35 WA farmers met Government officials and Russian farmers’ union representatives on Monday, the first official day in a CBH study tour of the Krasnodar farming district..... [more]

  • Alcidion Group Ltd (ASX:ALC) has signed a $2.6 million contract extension with the Northern Territory Department of Health for the provision of its Miya platform across six hospital sites in the Northern Territory. The contract extension, valued at $888,000 per-annum for a duration of three years, will also include two options for one-year contract extensions..... [more]

  • How the politics of fear fuelled the DIY power boom. After a decade of toxic political debate around climate change, carbon pricing and energy policy, Australian consumers are increasingly taking control of their own power. The proportion of solar customers in the National Energy Market (NEM) was fewer than 0.2 per cent in 2007-08..... [more]

  • The owner of David Jones, South African department store chain Woolworths Holdings, warned on Thursday that annual profit would fall by up to 20 per cent, hurt by "extremely" challenging trading conditions in its home market and Australia..... [more]

  • Fairfax Media is being urged to reconsider its deal to share printing resources with competitor News Corp, with at least 100 jobs expected to be lost in New South Wales and Queensland. Fairfax Media on Wednesday announced it was teaming up with competitor News Corp to share printing resources, leading to the closure of two of its printing presses in NSW and Queensland..... [more]

  • Swift Networks Group Ltd (ASX:SW1) will provide entertainment and connectivity services to a further 1,336 rooms in resources sector camps after winning multi-year contracts with new and existing clients. Contracts have been won with Ausco, NT Link, AngloGold Ashanti Limited (ASX:AGG), Iluka Resources Limited (ASX:ILU) and Tronox Ltd (NYSE:TROX) (FRA:TX9)..... [more]

  • Billionaire James Packer has resigned from 22 Australian company directorships in the past few weeks and no longer holds any board seat in his home country, corporate records show, signalling his almost full retreat from public business life. The major shareholder of casino operator Crown Resorts cited mental illness as the reason for quitting that firm's board in March, following a tumultuous period in his life, which included a break-up with singer Mariah Carey and the failure of Crown's expansion strategy..... [more]

World Business News

  • US President Donald Trump’s current trade policies appear to be having a negative effect on energy companies based in the countryas Trump steps up his efforts against high oil prices. Evidence appears to be gathering to suggest that these trade tensions are adversely impacting oil transporters and producers in the US. This could have the knock-on effect of allowing current trade rival China to source cheaper oil from elsewhere..... [more]

  • Donald Trump’s threat of auto tariffs set to strike at the very heart of America.... [more]

  • Trump says he’s ‘not happy’ with Fed raising interest rates. President suggests Fed is working at cross purposes with his economic program.... [more]

  • Rates for home loans ticked down as the bond market moved sideways and the housing market made little headway. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.52% during the July 19 week, down one basis point, according to the weekly data from mortgage provider Freddie Mac. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.00%, down from 4.02%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%, up one basis point..... [more]

  • Disney has won the war for 21st Century Fox. Comcast announced Thursday that it will drop its pursuit of the 21st Century Fox assets that it was fighting over with Disney..... [more]

  • EBay Inc. shares sank as much as 9.4% in Thursday trading after second-quarter results show that efforts to grow the online retailer’s business have yet to yield positive results. The company reported adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share and revenue of $2.64 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 51 cents and revenue of $2.66 billion..... [more]

  • Tesla is finally making enough cars -- it just can't sell enough of them. Cancellations for Model 3 orders have picked up in recent weeks. Refunds now outpace deposits for Tesla's new mass-market electric car, according to Needham & Co. analyst Rajvindra Gill. Tesla disputes that..... [more]

  • Tesla's battery maker suspends cobalt supplier amid sanctions concern. Panasonic said it was unable to determine how much of the cobalt used in batteries it makes for Tesla cars comes from Cuba, a country subject to U.S. sanctions, and that it had suspended relations with a Canadian supplier as a result of its concerns..... [more]

  • Six months after jumping into the bikesharing game, Uber has made a fascinating discovery: New riders taking a spin on its red Jump electric bikes in San Francisco are more likely to continue riding the bikes instead of hopping in one of its ubiquitous cars. In other words, Uber is disrupting itself -- and the company says it couldn't be happier about it..... [more]

  • Papa John’s merger talks with Wendy’s cooled after racial slur incident came to light.... [more]

  • American tech giant Xilinx is planning to acquire DeePhi Tech, a Beijing-based AI chip startup The Paper reported. Though no financial details have been disclosed so far, industry experts believes that the amount of the deal could be around US$300 million..... [more]

  • Another Wells Fargo mess: Pet insurance ripoff..... [more]

  • AbbVie Inc. ABBV, -4.56% shares dropped 5.5% in heavy Thursday morning trade after short seller Citron Research described the company as "the next great drug short" in a tweet and said it planned to release reports about the company. The Citron tweet came the day after Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb put out a plan to encourage the development and uptake of lower-priced biosimilar drugs, accusing large drugmakers in a speech of stymying the competition..... [more]

  • UK security officials warn of 'new risks' from Huawei. Top UK security officials say they can only provide "limited assurance" that telecom equipment provided by Huawei poses no threat to national security..... [more]

  • Cliff-edge Brexit fears back in boardrooms. Thursday's warning from Brussels to EU businesses to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit is timely. It arrives alongside a palpable shift in the minds of UK business leaders on the probability of leaving without a negotiated deal..... [more]

  • Former foreign minister Boris Johnson urged the British government on Wednesday to change its strategy for leaving the EU, telling MPs it was "not too late to save Brexit". In his first speech to the House of Commons since resigning last week, the leading eurosceptic repeated his criticism of Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for close economic ties..... [more]

  • Burberry, the upmarket British fashion label, destroyed unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth £28.6m last year to protect its brand. It takes the total value of goods it has destroyed over the past five years to more than £90m..... [more]

  • Royal Mail shareholders have rebelled against its pay plans for top executives following a row over a salary rise for its new boss. The directors' remuneration report was rejected by about 70% of shareholders in a vote, which is non-binding, at Royal Mail's annual meeting..... [more]

  • Anglo-Dutch consumer giant Unilever Thursday revealed a drop in both sales and profits in the first half of 2018, saying markets remained "challenging" as it makes moves to leave its London base. Sales fell some 5.0 percent to 26.4 billion euros ($30.7 billion) in the first six months, down from 27.7 billion euros on the same period in 2017..... [more]

  • China's currency is plunging again. But how low will it go? The yuan weakened almost 1% against the US dollar on Thursday to hit its lowest level in a year. It has now fallen by nearly 8% over the past three months amid a global trade spat and concerns over an economic slowdown in China..... [more]

  • Chinese oil and gas giant Sinopec has set up a capital investment operation platform in the Xiongan New Area in Hebei province, reported. The latter will allow Sinopec to park its money in strategic emerging industries such as new energy, new materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, as well as smart manufacturing, utilizing a registered capital of 10 billion yuan (US$1.48 billion)..... [more]

  • Opinion - Stephen Bartholomeusz: With two words US Fed chair has put the world on alert. In testimony to the US Congress this week Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, while reaffirming the Fed’s commitment to continuing to raise interest rates and shrink its balance sheet, added a couple of significant caveats that introduce a note of uncertainty about future US monetary policies..... [more]