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 slightly higher, lifted by utilities and the mining sector even as energy shares and Wesfarmers weighed down the index. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed up 4.4 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 6,130.6 points on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was also up 4.4 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 6,213.1..... [more]

  • U.S. Market Report: Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Tuesday, as Apple and chipmakers boosted technology shares, while higher oil prices lifted energy companies..... [more]

  • North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are broadly higher today with shares in Brazil leading the region. The Bovespa is up 1.41% while U.S.'s S&P 500 is up 0.44% and Mexico's IPC is up 0.23%..... [more]

  • European Market Report: European markets finished higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 0.89% while Germany's DAX is up 0.64% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.26%..... [more]

  • Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 2.15% and the Hang Seng rose 0.15%. The Shanghai Composite lost 1.51%..... [more]

Australian Business News

  • The Reserve Bank is confident that strength seen in domestic jobs data can be trusted since it comes from a range of independent sources, dismissing concerns the health of the labour market might be overstated..... [more]

  • Labor leader Bill Shorten has pledged to lift the minimum wage, claiming that the statutory $18.93 per hour is "too low" for the average adult to look after their family. The announcement comes just weeks after the ACTU issued its own demands that the minimum wage be lifted to represent at least 60 per cent of the median wage..... [more]

  • What we know so far about the federal budget. Both sides of politics will be falling over themselves to promise handouts in next week’s pre-election budget. Here’s what’s been announced so far..... [more]

  • For years, construction in Australia has been booming — but the good days are well and truly over. Whether it’s private houses, dwelling units, or renovations, the numbers are all heading south..... [more]

  • Insurance losses from the Queensland floods have topped $1 billion, taking the total from three recent extreme weather events to $2.2 billion even before cyclones Trevor and Veronica are taken into account..... [more]

  • AMP director Geoff Roberts will retire from the company board after next month's annual general meeting to focus on his full-time role as chief financial officer of online job advertiser Seek..... [more]

  • 88 Energy’s exploration partner Red Emperor continues to evaluate Alaska potential. Red Emperor told its investors that 88 Energy had completed the programme on time and 'on or slightly under' budget.... [more]

  • Winchester Energy Ltd (ASX:WEL) has demonstrated good to excellent oil shows in the primary Strawn Sand target during drilling of the White Hat 20#3 well at Mustang prospect in the Permian Basin of Texas. The company is drilling ahead at 6,020 feet in the well, with the Strawn Sand target intersected at 5,920 feet..... [more]

  • Riversgold reveals board and management changes.... [more]

  • Global battery demand is manifesting itself in Western Australia's battery materials sector, with sales of critical elements jumping more than 30 per cent in one year. However, those sales are still a drop in the ocean compared to the state's traditional iron ore, gold and petroleum sectors, according to the WA mineral and petroleum commodity review released this week..... [more]

  • Surging production of gold and lithium has given WA its first increase in mining employment in five years, with the sector now providing the equivalent of almost 90,000 full-time jobs. The WA mining industry had direct employment of about 89,800 full-time equivalent jobs in the 2018 financial year, a 5.8 per cent increase..... [more]

  • German fertiliser producer and distributor K+S commits to purchase up to 90,000 tonnes per annum of SOP production. Kalium Lakes Ltd (ASX:KLL) has signed a binding offtake agreement with K+S to supply Sulphate of Potash (SOP) from the Beyondie project in the east Pilbara region of WA..... [more]

  • Golden Rim Resources Ltd (ASX:GMR) has executed a drilling contract for 17,000 metres of reverse circulation drilling and 4,000 metres of diamond drilling at the Kouri Gold Project in Burkina Faso. The contract has been executed with Capital Drilling, which participated in the company’s recent share placement and is expected to be Golden Rim’s largest shareholder..... [more]

  • Wesfarmers' surprise $1.5 billion bid for rare earths miner Lynas Corp could spark a bidding war as companies try to cash in on the rising demand for electric vehicles and wind turbines. Lynas produces a material, Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr), which is a key ingredient in electric vehicles..... [more]

  • Wesfarmers is looking to splash some of its Coles cash after making a $1.5 billion offer for rare earths miner Lynas Corp. The $2.25-per-share all-cash offer represents a 44.7 per cent premium to Lynas' share price before the start of trade on Tuesday..... [more]

  • The federal government is aiming to reduce wholesale power prices by nearly a third in two years through its plan to underwrite energy projects. Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the government's shortlist for the scheme on Tuesday, which includes a dozen projects with a total generating capacity of nearly 4000 megawatts of power..... [more]

  • Coles will spend up to $150 million over the next four years to double its home delivery capacity after signing a deal to use tech from UK online supermarket Ocado. Coles will pay Ocado to install and maintain equipment within new automated customer fulfilment centres outside Sydney and Melbourne, and to use its software..... [more]

  • Skin Elements Ltd (ASX:SKN) has executed a binding term sheet which includes a $2.4 million investment and a sales and distribution agreement for its skin care product range in the Chinese skin care market. The agreement with Henan Huatuo Health Management Co (HHHM) represents a milestone in Skin Elements’ strategy to become a leading global provider of natural and organic skin care products..... [more]

  • Fintech startup Airwallex has become Australia's latest "unicorn" company with a $US100 million ($A140m) fundraising that values the payments transfer provider at more than $US1 billion. The Series C fundraising round was led by DST Global, which has invested in the likes of Facebook, Airbnb and Spotify..... [more]

  • Parkd Ltd ASX:PKD) non-executive chairman Bronte Howson has purchased 128,588 shares through on-market trades. This purchase has increased Howson’s total holding in the company to 6,272,474 ordinary shares (direct and indirect interests)..... [more]

  • Kathmandu lifts H1 profit 13.7% to $NZ14m.... [more]

  • Have you ever been suspicious of a $50 note you ended up with? The Reserve Bank of Australia is raising awareness of counterfeit currency as it detects tens of thousands of forged notes every year. Counterfeits are worth keeping an eye out for. You don’t want to end up with one in your wallet..... [more]

  • commissioner Chris Jordan is taking his own department to court as part of his defence in a defamation case brought against him by Sydney accountant Vanda Gould. Mr Gould commenced defamation proceedings against Mr Jordan in 2017..... [more]

  • Opinion - Stephen Bartholomeusz: Wesfarmers aims its firepower in an unusual and risky direction. A $1.5 billion bid for a rare earths producer facing an existential challenge is Rob Scott’s unexpected initial target as Wesfarmers starts the process of deploying the massive financial capacity he created via last year’s balance sheet clear-out. At face value, the bid for Lynas Corp is an unusual and risky choice for the retailer-dominated Wesfarmers..... [more]

  • Opinion - Ross Gittins: Generational conflict comes to a polling place near you. The most memorable news photo I’ve seen in ages is one from the first School Strike 4 Climate late last year. It shows a young woman holding a sign: MESS WITH OUR CLIMATE & WE’LL MESS WITH YOUR PENSION..... [more]

  • Opinion - Elizabeth Knight: Welcome to supermarkets 3.0: Robots, AI and dark stores.... [more]

World Business News

  • Adobe, Microsoft to take on Salesforce's marketing software, with LinkedIn as a weapon.... [more]

  • Tim Cook says Apple Card is a game changer. Experts are not so sure.... [more]

  • Shares of Hunter Maritime Acquisition Corp. HUNT, +145.79% burst 148% higher in afternoon trade Tuesday to a record high, a day after rocketing 97%, although the Marshall Islands-based special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) didn't release any news since last week..... [more]

  • McDonald's is buying a tech startup that it hopes will help it sell customers more of what they want. The fast food giant announced Monday that it is acquiring Dynamic Yield, an Israeli company that uses artificial intelligence to give consumers personalized experiences..... [more]

  • The sharp selloff in Carnival Corp.'s stock CCL, -9.21% in the wake of disappointing earnings guidance, has spilled over into shares of rival cruise operators. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s stock shed 1.4% toward and 8-week low and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. shares slid 2.1% toward a 5-week low..... [more]

  • Nike triumphs in Michael Jordan Jumpman logo lawsuit.... [more]

  • A Lithuanian man who stole NZ$176 million (US$122m) from Facebook and Google through fake invoices has pleaded guilty in a New York court. Elvadas Rimasauskas, 50, wired money from fake invoices paid out to him, to bank accounts around the world..... [more]

  • Cryptocurrency mining equipment maker Bitmain postpones IPO. Cryptocurrency mining equipment maker Bitmain Technologies said on Tuesday that it had postponed its plan to go public, citing a plunge in digital currency prices. On Monday, the company’s expiration date for its initial public offering lapsed, and on Tuesday, the company confirmed that plans to list on Hong Kong’s stock exchange had been put on the back burner..... [more]

  • OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP and members of the wealthy Sackler family that own the company have reached a $270 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma accusing Purdue of helping fuel the opioid abuse epidemic, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday..... [more]

  • Cronos shares weigh on cannabis sector after soft earnings fail to impress. Cronos Group Inc. shares fell Tuesday, after the company’s quarterly earnings failed to light a spark with investors, who were also awaiting a key congressional committee vote on a cannabis banking bill. Cronos CRON, -1.90% posted a net loss of C$11.8 million ($8.8 million), or 6 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, after earnings of C$667,000, or a penny a share, in the year-earlier period..... [more]

  • The Federal Aviation Administration will significantly change its oversight approach to air safety by July 2019, U.S. Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel said in written testimony reviewed by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate panel hearing..... [more]

  • The European Commission will next week urge EU countries to share more data to tackle cybersecurity risks related to 5G networks but will ignore US calls to ban Huawei, four people familiar with the matter said on Friday. European digital chief Andrus Ansip will present the recommendation on Tuesday..... [more]

  • Europe just passed sweeping new copyright rules that Big Tech hates. Europe is changing the internet again. Lawmakers have approved a sweeping overhaul of copyright rules, dealing a blow to major tech companies that argued the changes will be costly and limit free expression..... [more]

  • EU copyright reforms pits creative industry against internet activists. Europe's creative industries are urging EU lawmakers to back a proposed overhaul of the bloc's copyright rules, putting them at odds with internet activists who oppose a requirement to install filters to block copyright material..... [more]

  • Nike fined by EU for restrictions on football merchandise sales.... [more]

  • British banks approved fewer mortgages in February than during January, industry data showed on Tuesday. Seasonally-adjusted data from the UK Finance industry body showed banks approved 39,083 mortgages last month, down from 39,910 in January..... [more]

  • Debenhams is forging ahead with plans for a £200m rescue deal with its lenders as it said a potential bid from Sports Direct would come too late to provide the funds needed to keep the department store afloat. In a statement to the stock market, the ailing department store said it would give “due consideration” to any firm offer from Sports Direct, which announced on Monday that it was mulling a possible cash bid..... [more]

  • The family that owns well-known consumer brands like Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Keurig Dr. Pepper and Panera Bread say their Nazi ancestors used slave labor during World War II. The Reimann family, which owns the controlling stake in JAB Holdings and is reportedly one of the richest families in Germany, will donate €10 million, or $11 million, to a yet-undisclosed charity after a three-year investigation that it commissioned discovered details of their ancestors' behavior..... [more]

  • A Ryanair attempt to make fun of British Airways on Twitter after a flight mistakenly went to Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf has backfired. Ryanair's official Twitter account said it had a "present" for BA - a copy of Geography for Dummies..... [more]

  • China hails 'historic' Europe trip as Xi signs billion-dollar deals with France, BRI with Italy. Chinese President Xi Jinping is wrapping up his overseas jaunt of the year, visiting Europe on a mission to strengthen Beijing's ties to the region..... [more]

  • Samsung's profit warning will worry other smartphone makers. Samsung is warning investors that 2019 is off to an even gloomier start than it feared. The South Korean tech giant said Tuesday that its earnings for the first quarter of the year will fall short of market expectations because of slumping demand for the memory chips and display panels it makes for electronic devices..... [more]

  • Uber is buying the biggest ride-hailing app in the Middle East. In the biggest tech deal the region has ever seen, Uber is paying $3.1 billion for Careem with a mixture of cash and securities that will convert into Uber shares when the company goes public..... [more]

  • Analysis - John McDuling: Apple's not building a Netflix killer. It's got something bigger in mind. On face value, Apple's latest product launch might have seemed underwhelming - especially for Australians. There were no shiny new devices announced, and key details of the products it did announce remain fuzzy..... [more]