Morning business roundup

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Read a sample of the Morning Business Roundup from today.

Market Reports

  • Australian Market Report: After a soft start the Australian share market has finished in the black with the index bolstered by the financial sector. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 19.5 points higher or 0.33 per cent, at 5941.3 at 1630 AEDT on Monday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 0.27 per cent..... [more]

  • U.S. Market Report: The Nasdaq Composite index fell about 2.5 percent on Monday, hit by a slump in Apple Inc (AAPL.O) shares after two suppliers cut their forecasts, sparking a selloff in other iPhone component makers and weighing on technology stocks in general..... [more]

  • North/South Americas Market Report: North and South American markets are mixed. The Bovespa is higher by 0.09%, while the IPC is leading the S&P 500 lower. They are down 2.28% and 1.35% respectively..... [more]

  • European Market Report: European markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is down 1.77% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.93% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.74%..... [more]

  • Asian Market Report: Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 1.22% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.09% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.03%..... [more]

Australian Business News

  • Biggest weekly fall in petrol prices in a decade.... [more]

  • A China expert says Australia has to "push back against China" as Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted the decision to knock back Hong Kong-based CKI's bid for the country's major gas pipelines was not aimed at stopping Chinese Communist Party control. In June, CKI made a $13 billion offer for APA..... [more]

  • The Victorian Government has released an agreement it signed with China over its controversial global infrastructure initiative, after several days of pressure from the Opposition and the Federal Government. The four-page Memorandum of Understanding, posted online late on Sunday, says the two parties will "work together within the Belt and Road Initiative", China's trillion-dollar project to revive an ancient network of land and ocean trade routes..... [more]

  • Ombudsman to 'name and shame' Australia's worst payers. Companies which inflict long payment times on their small business suppliers face public naming and shaming under a plan to increase pressure from the Small Business Ombudsman..... [more]

  • The credit card deals to be wary of in the lead up to Christmas. Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s proved to be the most dangerous time of the year for Aussie shoppers who amassed an eye-watering $52.2 billion in credit card debt last year..... [more]

  • The chief executive of Freedom Insurance Group has resigned a few months after giving evidence to the banking royal commission about the insurer's tactics of cold-calling people to try and sell life insurance. The company announced Craig Orton would resign ''for personal reasons'' before the end of the year and be replaced by Sean Williamson, who is currently a consultant to the company and former general manager of insurer TAL..... [more]

  • Despite facing criticism by the Royal Commission inquiry into financial misconduct for their vertical integration offering, the Big Four are steadfast in their conviction that it is best for customers. In his interim report released earlier this year, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne said that a vertical integration policy could present conflicts. Banks could push certain financial products to benefit themselves rather than their customers..... [more]

  • Anson Resources lodges re-entry application for two wells at Paradox Lithium Project. The company is seeking to estimate a JORC-compliant lithium resource at the project in Utah..... [more]

  • Independence Group has taken stake in Encounter Resources’ Yeneena copper-cobalt project in the east Pilbara causing the junior’s share price to soar. Encounter has placed $1.8 million of shares with Independence, mainly to fund target definition and testing at Yeneena, in the Paterson province that is exciting investors due to the rumoured find of a large copper deposit by Rio Tinto..... [more]

  • Orion Minerals non-executive director adds to shareholding, brings total to 400,000 shares. The company is shoring up its South African base metals-focused Prieska project with a bankable feasibility study..... [more]

  • Ramelius ups it bid for Explaurum to snare Tampia gold.... [more]

  • ioneer Ltd’s (ASX:INR) board of directors have been issued options to the value of $45,000 in lieu of their cash salaries. Chairman, James Calaway along with the three non-executive directors Alan Davies, Patrick Elliot and John Hofmeister have all been issued 357,710 unlisted options exercisable at 24.2 cents expiring 9 November 2023..... [more]

  • Lithium Australia to complete third share component of VSPC acquisition. The company’s subsidiary VSPC Ltd owns and operates a cathode powder plant in Brisbane..... [more]

  • Less than a week after BHP was forced to derail a runaway iron ore train with no driver in the Pilbara, fellow iron ore miner Mineral Resources has revealed details of wagons going off the rails in the Goldfields. The Leonora to Esperance rail line has been temporarily closed after about 30 empty iron ore wagons derailed early on Sunday morning from a train returning to Mineral Resources’ Koolyanobbing mine near Norseman..... [more]

  • Golden Rim Resources Ltd (ASX:GMR) has exposed substantial new gold mineralisation in trenching and soil sampling outside the 1-million-ounce mineral resource at its Kouri Gold Project in Burkina Faso. The company is targeting the new gold zones in a 3,000-metre reverse circulation (RC) drilling program which is on track to begin later this month..... [more]

  • Pilbara Minerals commits to $231m Pilgangoora lithium and tantalum expansion.... [more]

  • Core Exploration becomes Core Lithium Ltd to reflect battery metal focus. The new name has been registered with ASIC and this will be updated in ASX records on Wednesday..... [more]

  • Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) has launched a Patersons Securities Limited-led $3 million Share Purchase Plan to help progress its wholly-owned Nolans Neodymium Praseodymium (NdPr) Project in the Northern Territory (NT). The underwritten offer will be priced at a 20% discount to the 5-day volume-weighted average price of shares before the date-of-issue..... [more]

  • Wholesale electricity prices increased slightly in Queensland and New South Wales over the last quarter, new data shows. But prices fell in Victoria and South Australia, and substantially declined in Tasmania due to more hydro power and a fixed electricity interconnector, the Australian Energy Market Operator's latest quarterly market report found..... [more]

  • AMP Capital has hit the go button on the $800 million Karrinyup Shopping Centre redevelopment and expansion with builder Multiplex to start work next week. The redevelopment, to be managed by AMP Capital on behalf of owner UniSuper, will almost double the size of the centre from 59,874sqm to 109,000sqm, add extra supermarkets, large-format international retailers, an al fresco dining precinct and a state-of-the-art 10-screen Hoyts cinema..... [more]

  • A Queensland strawberry farm supervisor seeking revenge over a workplace grievance sparked a nationwide crisis by planting needles in fruit, a court has heard. My Ut Trinh appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with seven counts of contamination of goods with intent to cause economic loss..... [more]

  • Healthscope has opened its books to Brookfield Capital Partners after the private equity firm made a $4.5 billion play for the private hospital operator, trumping a rival offer already on the table. Healthscope, which operates WA’s 224-bed Mountt Hospital on Mounts Bay Road, says Brookfield’s offer beats one it had rejected earlier this year, and is worth as much as $2.585 per share — more than the $2.36 offered last month by private equity firm BGH Capital and AustralianSuper..... [more]

  • The country's biggest universities say they are "under assault" and have launched an extraordinary attack on the Morrison government over a fresh round of cuts to academic research. Vice-chancellors are furious about a $134 million raid on research funding to pay for student places at regional universities - as well as other Coalition measures in the works including a free speech blitz, a "national interest test" for research grants and a new tax on enrolments..... [more]

  • Lendlease's fortunes have continued to slide, with its market value shedding a further $500 million on Monday, after a steep plunge last Friday. This brings the company's total losses — across two consecutive trading days — to about $2.3 billion, with its share price sinking to its lowest level in two years..... [more]

  • Comment - Elizabeth Knight: From Netflix to nannies: banks on warpath over every dollar you spend. Welcome to the post-royal commission era of borrowing. Heightened scrutiny by banks of the financial position of borrowers will be the new order and responsible lending will get a whole lot more responsible..... [more]

  • Analysis - Ian Verrander: Why debt will be the cause of the next stock market jolt. For most investors, it was a month to remember for all the wrong reasons. October turned into 'Shocktober' as waves of panic roiled global markets and torched most, if not all, of this year's gains..... [more]

  • Comment - Matthew Dunkley: Culture is key if companies are to avoid wrath of the crowd. Australian businesses that fail to improve their corporate culture have been warned to prepare for the financially damaging judgment of the crowd in the wake of scandals..... [more]

World Business News

  • Oil prices have staged a recovery, climbing above $70 a barrel after Saudi Arabia said the world’s major crude producers agreed that supply needed to be cut significantly next year. The kingdom’s energy minister, speaking after a meeting of Opec at the weekend, said the cartel believed that production would need to fall by nearly 1m barrels per day (bpd) on October levels..... [more]

  • Carl Icahn said on Monday VMWare (VMW.N) should be worth $300 per share, the activist investor’s latest bid to scuttle Dell’s plan to go public by buying back shares tied to its interest in the software company. "Based on IBM's recent offer for Red Hat, a deal we believe should have a comparable valuation to a future VMWare deal, VMW should be worth $300 per share," Icahn said in a letter here..... [more]

  • Ex-Goldman Sachs banker tied to 1MDB scandal blames bank's 'culture' in guilty plea.... [more]

  • SAP to buy software firm Qualtrics in $8 billion deal.... [more]

  • British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands had £7bn wiped from their stock market value as US regulators prepare to crack down on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes. Shares in BAT, the sixth-biggest company in the FTSE 100 and the maker of brands including Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Rothmans and Benson & Hedges, tumbled by 11%, sending its market value plummeting from £76bn at the close on Friday to £69bn on Monday..... [more]

  • General Electric seeks 'urgent' asset sales to cut debt: CEO.... [more]

  • Ford and Volkswagen appear headed for some kind of combination.They'd better. The industry is facing the challenges and costs at least as great as those posed by the financial crisis of a decade ago. Going it alone no longer appears to be an option..... [more]

  • L Brands Inc. could bring back the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit line now that the company has signaled no strategy is off limits if it improves profitability, Wells Fargo analysts say. L Brands’ LB, +2.11% portfolio includes Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works..... [more]

  • Coty Inc (COTY.N) replaced its chief executive officer and chairman on Monday, days after the cosmetics giant spooked investors by saying it was grappling with supply chain issues that could hurt its performance this fiscal year..... [more]

  • Theresa May stares into Brexit abyss. Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy has come under attack from all sides, increasing the risk that her plan for leaving the EU will be voted down by parliament and thrust the UK towards a potentially chaotic "no-deal" Brexit..... [more]

  • Gordon Brown backs calls for second Brexit referendum. Former PM says Britain should leave door open to rejoining EU if it does leave next March.... [more]

  • The pound has rebounded in afternoon trading in response to a report that the main elements of a Brexit treaty text are ready to present to the UK cabinet on Tuesday..... [more]

  • The British Airways owner, IAG, has been seeking Spanish government support to continue its operations in the case of a disorderly Brexit. According to letters reported in the Spanish newspaper El País, Spain’s government and Brussels doubt whether IAG can remain compliant with EU airline ownership rules..... [more]

  • German business software company SAP (SAPG.DE) has agreed to buy Qualtrics International for $8 billion in cash, pre-empting a planned stock market listing by the U.S.-based company which specializes in tracking online sentiment..... [more]

  • Counterfeit goods still feature in world’s best sales day. Many counterfeit products with names similar to global brands can still be found on Alibaba's e-commerce platforms.... [more]

  • Internet giant Alibaba has set new sales records on Sunday for its biggest shopping day, the annual Singles Day. The Chinese company hit a record $1bn (£774m; €883m) in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree..... [more]

  • China has postponed the lifting of a ban on the trade of rhino horn and tiger parts for medicine and other uses, the government says. The move on Monday follows a storm of protest from conservation groups over a plan to water down the decades-old prohibition..... [more]

  • In order to ease the financing difficulties of private and small companies, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to lower the average interest rate of major commercial bank lending to small and micro-sized enterprises by 1% in Q4, The Paper reported..... [more]

  • Smartphone prices in India are rising. Blame the weak rupee. The biggest seller of smartphones in India says it is having to hike prices because of the slump in the value of the country's currency. Chinese electronics firm Xiaomi raised the prices of several of its new products on Sunday, citing the sharp fall in the Indian rupee this year as the main factor behind its decision..... [more]

  • Modi's India: Failing the jobless? (video only).... [more]