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NSW, Qld farmers sweat on winter rainfall

Winter crops across Australia are crying out for rain after a dry autumn, with New South Wales and Queensland farmers feeling the pinch. The federal government’s agriculture forecaster released its latest crop report on Wednesday, which shows autumn rainfall was average to extremely low in the sunshine state during autumn. In northern NSW falls were…

ASX set to open lower after US-NKorea meet

The Australian share market looks set to open slightly lower despite a mainly positive lead from Wall Street following the denuclearisation deal struck between the US and North Korea. At 0700 AEST on Wednesday, the share price futures index was down eight points, or 0.13 per cent, at 6,047. Stock markets around the world have…

$A slips against strengthened $US

The Australian dollar is lower after the US currency strengthened following a report that Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell was considering more post-meeting press conferences. At 0635 AEST on Wednesday, the Australian dollar was worth 75.74 US cents, down from 76.10 US cents on Tuesday. Westpac analysts say the US dollar jumped after a WSJ…

Toyota investing $1 billion in Asian ride-share firm Grab

Toyota said Wednesday it was investing $1 billion in Asia ride-share company Grab, as the Japanese automaker looks to expand beyond its core business into the ‘mobility’ sector.Grab, which is headquartered in Singapore, is a leading player in the ride-share industry in Asia, and earlier this year agreed to acquire US giant Uber’s regional operations.

China’s ZTE dives 39% at resumption of trading in Hong Kong

Shares in Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE collapsed 39 percent as trading in the company resumed after it reached a settlement with the United States over its handling of a sanctions violation.Trading in the firm was suspended in April after Washington said it had banned American companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to…

US launches another trade case against China

US President Donald Trump’s Commerce Department on Tuesday announced another trade action involving Chinese imports, with producers of steel propane tanks accused of dumping and unfair subsidies.It is the latest in a series of disputes the Trump administration has taken up against Beijing, the largest of which are the looming 25 percent tariffs on $50…

Judge clears AT&T-Time Warner deal, rebuking Trump administration

A US judge Tuesday approved the $85 billion merger of wireless and broadband giant AT&T with media-entertainment conglomerate Time Warner, delivering a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump’s administration in its first major antitrust court case.Federal Judge Richard Leon said the government had failed to meet its burden of proof that the tie-up between the largest…

Global stocks mixed ahead of Fed, ECB decisions

Global stocks were mixed Tuesday as markets began looking past an historic US-North Korea summit towards major central bank decisions in the coming days.Markets moved little following the meeting between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with some analysts lauding the positive tone of the event but uncertain of…

EU Parliament to phase out plastic water bottles

The European Parliament has told its lawmakers and staff to set an example for EU citizens by no longer drinking water from plastic bottles by next year.The European Parliament bureau headed by Antonio Tajani and 14 vice presidents adopted a measure late Monday to phase out the plastic bottles and build a network of drinking…

CommSec daily report Wednesday

Latest NewsThe ASX 200 started Wednesday’s session on the back foot despite a relatively benign session for Wall Street overnight. US stocks were mixed on Tuesday despite the success suggested by the photo opportunities at the Singapore Summit. A lack of detail about North Korean denuclearisation from the Trump-Kim meeting ensured a lukewarm response from…