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US launches trade investigation into Chinese aluminum imports

The United States on Tuesday stepped up its trade confrontation with China, ordering an investigation into imports of aluminum sheet worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.For the first time since 1991, the Commerce Department said launched the investigation on its own initiative, rather than responding to a request from a US company.The department…

US regulator says Silicon Valley is threat to internet

A top US regulator, defending an effort to roll back so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules, said Tuesday that large internet platforms represent the biggest threat to online freedom because they routinely block ‘content they don’t like.’Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai delivered remarks days after unveiling a proposal to reverse a hotly contested 2015 rule requiring…

Bubble or brave new world? Bitcoin breaks $10,000 barrier

Bitcoin broke through the $10,000 barrier for the first time on Wednesday as it continues a stratospheric rise that has delighted investors but sparked fears of a bubble.The virtual currency hit a high of $10,379 in Asia, according to Bloomberg News, more than 10 times higher than its value at the start of the year.The…

Telstra, banks and miners weigh on market

The share market ended a day of fluctuating fortunes slightly weaker, amid falls for the heavyweight banks, miners and telcos. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index dropped 4.5 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,984.3 points. A lack of momentum is making it difficult for the market to leave the 6,000 point level behind, Macquarie Private…

Big dollar jackpots boost Tatts’ quarter

Tatts Group’s first quarter net profit has jumped almost 15 per cent, boosted by a string of bigger-than-usual multi-million dollar lottery jackpots. The gambling group’s post-tax net profit from continuing operations for the three months to September 30 was $67.2 million – up 14.8 per cent on the same time last year, while revenue grew…

More Crown pokies tampering allegations

Poker machines at Melbourne’s Crown Casino were tampered with to limit betting options, a fresh whistleblower alleges. The man, who went to the ABC with his allegations, is the fourth person to make such claims after federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie aired allegations by three others in parliament in October. Victorian Gamining Minister Marlene Kairouz…

Mayne Pharma expects “soft” H1 to improve

Drugs manufacturer Mayne Pharma is still feeling the impact of tough competition and lower prices in the generic drugs market in the US, but expects the release of new drugs and restructuring initiatives will boost the company’s financial performance. Chief executive Scott Richards says the company’s first half is expected to be “soft” but that…

Confidence slips, but outlook is festive

Consumer confidence eased in the past week but the ongoing improvement in labour market conditions may yet spell good news for retailers over the holiday season. The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index showed a 1.2 per cent slip to 115 in the week to November 26 on doubts about the current and future state…

BHP expects to deliver $2.2b in cost cuts

BHP Billiton expects to lower costs in its Australian mining operations by a further 10 per cent and has forecast the division will deliver $US1.6 billion ($A2.2 billion) in productivity gains over the next two years. At an investor briefing in Adelaide on Tuesday, BHP Minerals Australia president Mike Henry said the company had reduced…

NBN technology terrific, minister insists

Despite technical problems, the federal government is heralding the connection of the national broadband network via pay-TV cables as terrific technology. NBN Co has announced it will temporarily suspend rollout of the hybrid coaxial-fibre (HFC) network, warning of six to nine-month delays. ‘There’s no problem that’s been identified that can’t be fixed. They will be…

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