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ACCC raises concerns with Qld freight sale

The competition watchdog is worried Aurizon’s planned sale of its Queensland intermodal business would give Pacific National a stranglehold on freight haulage in the region. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims says the proposed sale to a consortium of Pacific National and Linfox would make Pacific National the only operator of its kind…

G20 to talk taxation: Morrison

Treasurer Scott Morrison expects the taxation of multinationals like Google and Amazon – so-called digital taxation – will be a key talking point at next week’s G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting. He said this was a constant topic of conversation during his recent trip to the US. ‘Multinationals should pay their fair share…

House building boom is losing steam

Total building commencements will continue to rise in the coming months but activity is expected to decline next financial year as Australia’s housing boom begins to taper off, according to BIS Oxford Economics. Robert Mellor, the managing director of the independent advisory firm, says new residential construction, which has been driving the boom in building…

Customers not getting the best deal: ACCC

Australia’s big four banks are making it almost impossible for customers to compare home loans and find the best deal, a new report shows. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in an interim report into the banks’ mortgage pricing decisions from 2015 to 2017, found they were using “opaque” discount rates that made it difficult…

Newcrest disappointed at Cadia dam breach

Goldminer Newcrest is disappointed that part of a tailings dam collapsed at its Cadia mine in NSW but is still searching for answers on why the breach happened. Cadia is one of Australia’s largest gold-mining operations, located near Orange in NSW. Newcrest was forced to halt production at its biggest and lowest-cost mine at the…

No pensioner compensation, Labor confirms

Labor won’t be offering compensation to pensioners affected by its plan to scrap the $59 billion in refundable tax credits on share dividends. The policy will impact more than 200,000 pensioners. On Wednesday Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he would make sure they are OK “full stop”. A day later he said reports about a…

Stocks to watch

Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: ANZ – ANZ BANKING GROUP – down 30 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $28.04 CBA – COMMONWEALTH BANK – down 62 cents, or 0.8 per cent, at $75.93 NAB – NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK – down 34 cents, or 1.1 per cent, at $29.64 WBC – WESTPAC…

Google bans cryptocurrency advertising

Alphabet Inc’s Google is banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings amid growing concerns about scams. Google’s action, which takes effect in June and follows a similar move by Facebook earlier this year, sent the price of the best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, down more than 10 per cent to its lowest in a month. Interest…

Banks drag market to third straight fall

The share market has lost ground for a third straight session, weighed down by falls by the banks and concerns about a trade war. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 0.2 per cent to 5,920.8 points, following a fall of 0.7 per cent on Wednesday and a decline of 0.4 per cent on Tuesday. Citi director…

Gold prices fall as US dollar strengthens

Gold prices have edged lower, pressured by a recovering US dollar and an expectation of higher interest rates, but supported by safe-haven buying after the sudden dismissal of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Spot gold declined 0.1 per cent at $US1,324.40 per ounce in afternoon trade, earlier touching $US1,330.02, its highest since March 7….