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International markets roundup

NEW YORK: Wall Street’s major indexes have pared some earlier losses as higher US government bond yields drive gains for banks and other financial stocks. Markets had initially fallen on a Bloomberg report that China, the world’s biggest holder of US Treasuries, was considering slowing purchases. The S&P financial index rose, helped by gains in…

Shanghai probes Marriott hotels over geography gaffe

Authorities in Shanghai are investigating hotel giant Marriott after it triggered an online uproar with a customer questionnaire that listed Chinese-claimed regions such as Tibet and Hong Kong as separate countries.City officials said in a notice dated late Wednesday that they were probing whether the gaffe in Marriott International’s Mandarin-language questionnaire violated national cyber-security and…

US stocks finish lower, ending streak of records

Wall Street stocks dipped Wednesday, with all three major indices falling for the first time in 2018 amid worries over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1 percent to 25,369.00.The broad-based S&P 500 also shed 0.1 percent to 2,748.18 and the tech-rich…

IG Research – The long and the short of it

Equity markets have seen limited moves, with small selling in European indices (the DAX fell 0.8%). In the US, the S&P 500 may have traded somewhat lower and into 2736, but the buyers have defended the 5-day moving average at 2738. However, with 45 minutes to go the index is lower by 0.3% and eyeing…

Toyota, Mazda to build joint US plant in Alabama

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda announced Wednesday they will build their $1.6 billion joint US manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama.In August, the companies revealed their plans for the factory, which will eventually employ up to 4,000 people.Production at the plant of vehicles for the US market is expected to begin in 2021. They also plan…

Berkshire edges towards naming successor to Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway announced a first move towards naming a successor to long-time chief executive Warren Buffett as it added two top executives to its board of directors Wednesday.The 87-year-old billionaire, who has been at the helm since 1970, described the move as ‘part of a movement towards succession’ in the leadership of the massive group…

Strongest retail sales in 4.5 years

Strongest retail sales in 4½ yearsRetail tradeMonthly retail trade: Sales rose by 1.2 per cent in November after increasing by 0.5 per cent in October the strongest outcome in 4½ years. Spending rose across all states and territories, led by electrical and electronic goods, together with household and other retail goods. Retail trade data is…

Forget the self-driving car, meet the self-driving suitcase

Self-driving cars may take a while to arrive, but the self-driving suitcase is here now.Some of the technologies used in autonomous cars have been adapted in products unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, to help travelers with the weighty problem of dealing with baggage.The ‘robot suitcase’ from California-based startup Travelmate can…

YPB flags potential partnership deal

Shares in brand protection company YPB Group have been suspended from trade ahead of an announcement from the company of a potential partnership deal. YPB shares were halted from trade on Monday at the company’s request, and on Wednesday the shares were suspended from trade until Friday. The company said its request for the suspension…

Medlab shares soar on licence approval

Shares in Medlab Clinical have soared 27 per cent after the company obtained a licence to sell and supply medical marijuana in Australia. Medlab shares reached a record high of $1.15 on Wednesday before closing at $1.03, a gain of 22 cents in the session, after the Victorian government granted the company permission to sell…