21 Feb 2018

Finance news you need to know today!!

THE Australian share market looks set to open comfortably higher after strong gains on major international markets and a mainly positive lead from Wall Street thanks to upbeat earnings reports. At 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, the share price futures index was up 16 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 6,002.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is a smidgen higher, creeping back toward 80 US cents.

The local currency was trading at 79.97 US cents at 0700 AEDT on Wednesday, from 79.90 on Tuesday.

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

DAVOS — Protectionism is gaining ground and globalisation is losing its attractiveness, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the World Economic Forum.

TOKYO — Eleven countries, including Australia, aiming to forge a new Asia- Pacific trade pact after the US pulled out of an earlier version will hold a signing ceremony in Chile in March, Japan’s economy minister says.

LONDON — Drug-makers’ response to the threat posed by “superbugs” remains patchy even after years of warnings, according to the first analysis of individual companies’ efforts to tackle the antibiotic-resistance crisis.

NEW YORK CITY — JPMorgan Chase & Co have unveiled a $US20 billion ($A28 billion) investment plan to increase wages, hire more, open new branches and expand its business as it takes advantage of sweeping changes to the US tax law and improved regulatory environment.

NEW YORK CITY — Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s largest drug makers, will take a $US13.6-billion ($A19 billion) charge related to the new US tax law and plans to bring back billions of dollars from overseas immediately.

LONDON — Rupert Murdoch suffered a knock-back after 21st Century Fox’s bid for Sky was provisionally blocked by the British competition watchdog.

TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

QBE — QBE has flagged a full-year loss of about $US1.2 billion ($A1.5 billion) due to almost $US1 billion in one-off costs and blowouts associated with wildfires in California and Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean.

RETAILERS AUST — Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi has been ranked among the top 250 retailers in the world for the first time.

WINE AUST — Australian wine exports to mainland China have soared 63 per cent to a record $848 million, helping drive up total exports in 2017 to $2.56 billion.

RESMED — ResMed shares have hit a record high after the respiratory device maker’s quarterly sales revenue jumped 13 per cent to $US601 million ($US750 million).

OIL SEARCH — Oil Search has lifted its full year revenue 17 per cent to $1.4 billion as prices improved and it hit the upper end of its annual production guidance.

TYRO — A small business banking and payment services company has snared the services of outgoing Tatts chief executive Robbie Cookie.

THORN — Radio Rentals’ parent company Thorn Group has agreed to pay $6.1 million in remediation for customers and expects to be hit with a $2 million civil penalty.

CONSUMER ANZ — Consumer confidence has fallen following a jump in petrol prices in Melbourne and Brisbane, and talk of rail strikes in Sydney — all against a backdrop of low wages growth.

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