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WTO chief to launch talks to save appeals panel

The World Trade Organization announced Monday the launch of “intensive” political negotiations to salvage the appellate branch of the body’s internal court, which is set to collapse under US opposition. The WTO appeals panel, sometimes dubbed the supreme court of world trade, will no longer have the needed quorum of three judges as of midnight…

EU opens subsidies for electric battery push

The EU’s powerful anti-trust authority on Monday approved billions of euros in subsidies from seven member states as Europe seeks to make up lost ground in batteries. The move is part of a big push led by Germany and France to prepare Europe for the emergence of electric cars, as gas combustible engines are phased…

France strike grinds down commuters in crunch week for Macron

Travellers across France endured a fifth day of turmoil on Monday caused by massive strike action over government’s plans to overhaul the pension system, as officials tried to persuade union bosses to call off the action. Unions rejected the government’s overtures and have vowed to keep up the fight over the reforms, which are set…

Amazon alleges Trump abused power in huge Pentagon contract

Amazon is alleging that US President Donald Trump abused the power of his office to deny the company a massive military cloud computing contract, court documents released Monday showed. The technology giant is challenging the awarding of a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract to Microsoft, alleging “unmistakable bias” in the process. The 10-year contract…

Boris Johnson, polarising leader focused on Brexit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to end the Brexit turmoil and unite Britain if re-elected this week, but critics accuse him of Trump-style populism that will only divide the country further. The former London mayor has toned down his trademark jokes and bluster ahead of Thursday’s vote, as he focuses on a promise to…

Mexico rejects US trade deal proposals on steel, aluminum

Mexico’s foreign minister said Sunday the country would not accept a US proposal for steel and aluminum production under the new trade deal, saying it would leave Mexico at a disadvantage. During a meeting with senators to discuss details of negotiations for the United States-Mexico-Canada treaty (USMCA), Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the US proposed…

All eyes on Lagarde’s ECB debut this week

Christine Lagarde delivers her first monetary policy announcements as ECB president on Thursday, with observers set to scrutinise every word for hints of the bank’s future direction at a time of stuttering eurozone growth. Lagarde is widely predicted to leave her predecessor Mario Draghi’s ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged after chairing her maiden meeting of the…

Arms sales worldwide up nearly 5%, says new report

Arms sales rose by nearly five percent worldwide in 2018 in a market dominated by the United States, according to a new report published Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The turnover of the 100 biggest arms manufacturers came to $420 billion, thanks in large part to the US market, said the…

CommSec Daily Report Monday

Latest News Aussie shares have started the new week in positive territory. The ASX 200 is following the global markets higher with a third consecutive session of improvements. The benchmark index is 14 points or 0.2% higher at 6721, having eased from its session highs where it was 33 points higher. The moves higher for…

US Fed to hold fire as economy ends 2019 on a strong note

With the strength of the world’s largest economy on display at year end, the US Federal Reserve is all but certain to leave interest rates untouched at its final policy meeting of 2019 this week. While Latin America and Europe are stagnant and China has begun to sputter worryingly, November’s blockbuster US jobs report —…