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Today's News & Views

Mortgage fees paid to lenders rise

JOHN COLLETT 12:15am Home buyers are urged to shop around to ensure they're getting the best possible deal.

Think before you lick: Australia Post's small bills push the envelope

Letter posters may be in for an unexpected surprise.

Madeleine Heffernan 1:41pm Think before you lick - Australia Post is sending what could be the country's smallest utility bill.

Tough budget hits beer consumption

1:13pm One of Australia's largest brewers says the federal budget has contributed to a fall in volumes in the three months to June.


Global risks fail to deter investors

An Israeli tank fires towards targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

Mark Mulligan 1:06pm Extreme monetary easing, it could be argued, has made us immune to pain and suffering.

Sirius raises funding for mine project

12:07pm Sirius Resources has raised $189 million to help fund its Nova project and further exploration in WA.

Buxton surges on graphite results

12:08pm Buxton Resources' shares have surged more than 30 per cent after the release of positive graphite drilling results

GUD profit slumps by 44 per cent

11:55am A big fall in earnings from the Sunbeam range of kitchen and home appliances has contributed to a 44 per slump in GUD's annual profit.

Immigration and the birth of a new era of confidence

HAROLD MITCHELL 12:31pm I visited my son in hospital last weekend. He'd broken his ankle and was being very well looked after in one of Melbourne's great hospitals. The hospital was chock-a-block, but not from snowfield misadventures as I initially thought. My son's room was next to the maternity ward and business was booming.

Sunbeam earnings drop hits GUD

TOM COWIE 1:17pm Household appliance maker GUD Holdings has reported a steep fall in full-year profit after earnings from its iconic Sunbeam label plunged 83 per cent.

Healthscope confirms IPO price of $2.10 a share

Jessica Gardner 11:54am Healthscope chair Paula Dwyer says the $3.6 billion private hospital, medical centre and pathology operator has a bright future and its return to the public market has been well supported by both domestic and foreign investors.


Clear skies, full breeze, can't lose: Oil state Texas' big bet on wind power

Texas is making major investments to make more of its wind power.

Matthew L. Wald 11:26am Texas, the US state most synonymous with oil, is conducting a vast “build it and they will come” experiment with wind power that’s being watched by the rest of America.


Acrux appoints new chief executive

Jessica Gardner 10:31am Acrux has named Michael Kotsanis as its new chief executive, at a time when the outlook for its lead testosterone replacement therapy product Axiron is uncertain, despite a better than expected quarterly sales result.

Aust is No 2 in Human Development report

Elaine Kurtenbach 10:03am Australia is ranked number two, behind Norway, in the UN's annual Human Development Report.

'Patchy' economy, US policy hurting ASX: Citi

Market gains in 2014 had been “a bit disappointing”, say Citi analysts.

TOM COWIE 9:31am CitiBank has trimmed its forecast for the ASX200, identifying slowing economic growth and a tightening of US monetary policy as the main threats to the market.

Facebook stock hits all-time highs

Revenue in the quarter surged to $US2.91 billion, with approximately 62 per cent of that money coming from ads.

9:24am Facebook stock has jumped to record highs with strong earnings from the leading social network sparking fresh buying.

Aust bond futures prices lower

9:12am Positive US unemployment data has weighed on bond futures prices.

Starbucks profit rises on stronger sales

12:08pm Starbucks' quarterly profit is up, to $US512.6 million, thanks to a six per cent rise in sales at established cafes.


Healthscope CEO Cooke welcomes comparisons to Ramsay Health Care

“I just think it demonstrates we can do something similar, albeit a little bit different. Both companies have got a great record and will continue to have a great record, we just want to be greater.”Healthscope CEO Robert Cooke said he has “a lot of respect” for both Ramsay and pathology and medical centre operator Sonic Healthcare.

Jessica Gardner 8:51am Healthscope will list on the sharemarket at a 9 per cent discount to Ramsay Health Care on a price-to-earnings multiple basis, but chief executive Robert Cooke says he welcomes comparisons to the market leader because it illustrates the company’s growth potential.

Visa posts higher 3Q profit, revenue

7:55am In the April-June quarter, the volume of credit and debit card transactions made on Visa's network grew 6 per cent to $US1.84 trillion ($A1.99 trillion).

Stocks to watch at noon on Friday

12:07pm Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at noon on Friday

Commodities markets summary

7:36am Commodities news from around the world

International markets roundup

7:18am News from the world’s major stock markets.

Share market's strong run comes to an end

12:34pm Investors are selling shares across all sectors of the market after seven straight days of gains, sending the market lower.


need2know: Weak lead from Wall St

No signs of crisis despite sharp market falls: AFR (Thumbnail)

6:59am Local shares are getting little direction from Wall Street, which has ended narrowly mixed on a day when better than expected earnings were offset by several key misses.

$A loses ground on positive US data

7:44am The Australian dollar has slipped following positive US unemployment data.

IMF lowers 2014 global growth forecast

The IMF has warned of 'negative surprises' out of China and the US.

6:34am The International Monetary Fund has lowered its 2014 global economic growth forecast, warning of "negative surprises" from the United States and China and geopolitical risks in Ukraine and the Middle East.

S&P 500 hits new record

Wall Street

6:34am Wall Street stocks have finished little changed with the S&P 500 inching to a new record following mixed US economic data and a flood of corporate earnings.

Morgan Stanley to settle SEC charges

10:03am The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced Morgan Stanley will pay $US275 million to settle mortgage bond charges.


Macquarie opens up over its private wealth failings

AFR ,Nicholas Moore CEO and  Kevin McCann chairman.

Joyce Moullakis Macquarie Group has for the first time provided high-level detail on how it is addressing the corporate regulator's concerns around a string of failings in its private wealth division.

Ford second-quarter income rises 6pc

10:03am Ford has chalked up a record profit in the second quarter, but things will get leaner in the second half when it closes a truck plant and costs increase.

Macquarie cops fallout from scandal

Illustration: Kerrie Leishman

ELIZABETH KNIGHT 1:15am The Commonwealth Bank's boss, Ian Narev, recently noted that the financial fallout from the bank's financial advice scandal had not been significant and it's probably fair to say that in the longer term it won't sustain any real brand damage.


Treasury head bullish about global growth

Martin Parkinson

PETER MARTIN 6:37am Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has talked up global growth as the IMF has marked down its forecasts, saying he is sifting through 700 measures that should expand leading economies in the lead-up to the G20 meeting in December.


Newcrest warns of more write-downs

PETER KER 1:15am The man in charge of Australia’s biggest gold miner has declared ''cash is king'', and indicated he will not consider asset sales, equity raisings or expensive new developments until his existing mines are performing at their full potential.

Swiss drug-maker Roche's profit drops 7%

7:09pm Swiss drug-maker Roche has posted a 7 per cent drop in its net profit from a year ago.


Treasurer Joe Hockey's tough budget driving consumers away from drink rather than to it

Craft Beer

ELI GREENBLAT 1:15am SABMiller, the world's second-biggest brewer that paid $12.3 billion for Foster's in 2011, has blamed the consumer fall out from Treasurer Joe Hockey’s severe federal budget and heavy discounting on international premium brands for a sharp dive in beer revenue and volumes at its Australian arm.


Virgin Australia's Tigerair burning an 'alarming' $2 million a week


ELI GREENBLAT 1:15am Losses at Virgin Australia Holdings-controlled budget carrier Tigerair Australia have risen to “alarming levels” of more than $2 million a week amid heated competition in the domestic aviation market, says CIMB analyst Raymond Yap.

APRA sends a caution to banks on credit spree

stephen cauchi 8:30am STEPHEN CAUCHI and CLANCY YEATES


Australian shares on a seven-day streak

Generic photo of the ASX  board in Melbourne.I

SALLY ROSE 5:11pm Australian shares have closed at a new six-year high, notching up a seven day winning streak as the big four banks lifted the index.


Nathan Tinkler denies Newcastle Jets sponsorship in jeopardy

CBD - Colin Kruger - dinkus

COLIN KRUGER 1:15am Just a week after Newcastle Jets announced their new naming rights sponsor – Nathan Tinkler's sand mine business, Castle Quarry Products (CQP) – receivers have been appointed by Commonwealth Bank to sell the nine-hectare site.


APRA warns supermarket group Woolworths over 'banking' claim


Jared Lynch and Steve Cauchi 1:15am The banking regulator is being urged to take tougher action on big companies that flout the rules on use of the word “bank”, after Woolworths was revealed to have used the term for more than two years without a licence.


Production glut from majors forces Atlas Iron to sell iron ore close to a loss


Mathew Dunckley 1:14am Atlas Iron was forced to sell its iron ore at close to a loss in the June quarter amid huge pressure on margins created by an explosion in supply from the Pilbara majors.

1300 jobs lost from failed discount chain

3:54pm More Crazy Clark's and Sam's Warehouse stores will close in August, taking job losses from the company's collapse to more than 1,300.


Banks should act like start-ups: Westpac

Brian Hartzer, Chief Executive of the Westpac Banking Corporation speaks at a CEDA panel discussion on financial services industry transformation.

CLANCY YEATES 1:15am Senior Westpac banker Brian Hartzer says banks should try to act like start-up companies if they are to thrive in an era of sweeping technological change.


Ray White backs agents' fees backlash

Ray White

Jake Mitchell 1:14am Ray White Group has thrown its support behind a group of real estate agents that have appointed a media buyer to negotiate digital advertising rates for them.

APRA to warn Woolworths it can't call itself a bank

Stephen Cauchi 3:04pm The chairman of Australia's financial services regulator has given a measured response to Woolworths' decision to call itself a bank, despite the company not holding a banking licence.

Bitcoin miner hails results

Trevor Chappell 2:51pm ASX-listed Digital CC says bitcoin mining is yielding exceptional results, and the bitcoin system is going from strength to strength.


Sonic Healthcare on the hunt for new US chief

Sonic Healthcare's US business accounts for more than a fifth of its revenue.

Jessica Gardner 2:30pm Sonic Healthcare is on the hunt for a new chief executive of its troubled United States pathology business – its third in two years.


AGL cleared to buy Macquarie Generation


2:12pm AGL Energy will be able to take over Macquarie Generation after the competition watchdog decided not to fight the sale of two NSW government-owned power stations.

Most victims are once bitten, twice shy, except when it comes to fraud

jordan belfort

SUSAN ANTILLA The federal judge overseeing the criminal case against Jordan Belfort, the felon depicted in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, had bad news last month for the syndicated newsmagazine Inside Edition. He denied its request for a list of Belfort's 1300 victims.

All that glitters is not gold at Newcrest's Lihir

The gold processing plant on Lihir Island in PNG.

MALCOLM MAIDEN After being engulfed in a disclosure debacle in June last year that resulted in it paying penalties of $1.2 million, Newcrest kept a tight lid on its latest writedown announcement, but its news was still downbeat.


Wheat crop worries as dry weather persists

Dry weather is putting wheat crop yields at risk.

Dry weather is likely to persist across eastern Australia for the next three months, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Thursday, exacerbating stress on cattle and adding to concerns that wheat yields could suffer in the world's third largest exporter.

Japan trade deficit at record $81b

Japan's trade deficit surged to a record 7.6 trillion yen ($A81.04 billion) in the first half of the year, according to preliminary data.

China factory index at 18-month high

A survey shows China's factory activity rose in July to its highest level in 18 months.

Junk mail company Salmat upbeat on plan to add digital to 'old media'

Madeleine Heffernan Junk mail company Salmat says it is making "great" progress in its three-year plan to add digital to its "old media" business.


Australian dollar climbs on China factory PMI data

Government stimulus helped China's factories in the second quarter.

The Australian dollar hit a three-week high on Thursday after a closely watched survey showed activity in China's factory sector in July expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months.

Macquarie upbeat despite weak quarter

Evan Schwarten Macquarie Group has recorded a weak first quarter but is sticking with its full year profit guidance.

More US tourists are coming to Australia

Petrina Berry More UK and US tourists are coming to Australia as their economies gradually pick up after the global financial crisis.

Some of 700 new Telstra jobs may go to Asia

  Telstra /business/telstra-to-slash-local-jobs-in-move-to-bolster-asia-division-20140723-3cfwi.html

ANNA PATTY But Telstra says overwhelmingly the company will keep those positions when it sends 671 offshore.


IAG upgrades profit expectations

IAG boss Mike Wilkins: ''The underlying performance of the group has remained strong.''

Ruth Liew Insurance Australia Group has upgraded its full year profit margin expectations to its highest levels since the company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2000, as benign weather and a lack of claims boost the insurance giant’s bottom line.

Newcrest takes another billion dollar hit

Greg Roberts Newcrest has warned it faces a hit of between $1.5b and $2.5b after reviewing the value of its mining assets.

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