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Merkel, Macron: the new power couple to shake up the EU

Freshly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the new power couple leading the charge against anti-European populists and trying to put the struggling EU back on track, analysts say.French legislative elections in June could endorse Macron’s message of change, giving him a real power base, while the long-serving Merkel faces…

CommSec Daily Report Wednesday

The Australian market is under pressure on Wednesday, with the ASX 200 index slipping by 0.8 per cent at lunch. Around half of these losses are due to significant falls from the four major banks, which are down as much as 1.75 per cent. Weakness from supermarket chain owner Wesfarmers (WES) and Woolworths (WOW) is…

The EU: What happened to climate’s poster child?

The 28-member European Union, the third-largest emitter of planet-warming greenhouse gases after China and the United States, has long been held up as the poster child of efforts to save Earth’s climate.But after years of taking the lead in talks for a global climate pact, and making tough policy and investment choices to lessen fossil…

Dollar extends losses as Trump crisis fuels fears for agenda

The dollar sank Wednesday with a fresh crisis in the White House fuelling concerns that Donald Trump’s economy-boosting agenda could be run off-track.The administration was once again rocked by allegations over its links to Russia after it emerged the tycoon had divulged classified information to the nation’s foreign minister.That was followed late Tuesday by claims…

HP Enterprise unveils computer ‘for era of Big Data’

Researchers from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise on Tuesday unveiled what they claimed was a breakthrough in computing with a new machine capable of handling vast amounts of data at supercomputing speeds.The prototype named simple ‘the Machine’ uses a new approach to computer architecture which the company says can be adapted for a range of Big Data applications,…

Wages still ahead of prices

Wages still ahead of prices; Used cars in vogueWage price index; Consumer confidence; Lending financeWage growth: The wage price index rose by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter to be up 1.9 per cent over theyear. Annual underlying inflation remains below wages at 1.7 per cent.Consumer confidence: The Westpac/Melbourne Institute survey of consumer sentiment…

Britain’s state-rescued Lloyds bank back in private hands

British bank Lloyds, bailed-out by the UK government at the height of the financial crisis, has returned to full private ownership, the two bodies said on Wednesday.‘Lloyds Banking Group has… notified the market that the government’s stake in the group has been reduced to zero; as such, the group has returned to full private ownership,’…

Home loans ease, seen dipping further

Home loan volumes have slipped for a second month in a row in a sign of a slowing market but analysts expect activity to dip further from next month when recent regulatory curbs start to bite. The value of mortgages approved rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9 per cent to $33.18 billion in March, according to…

Banks to fight ‘fast and loose’ $6.2b tax

The nation’s five biggest banks are willing to wage a mining tax-style ad campaign against a “fast and loose” $6.2 billion tax, which they say will leave Australian retirees and workers worse off. The banks say they’ve walked away from a meeting with Treasury officials on Thursday with more questions about the tax than answers….

CommSec Daily Report Friday

The Australian market fell into the red at the beginning of trade after a lack lustre session in the US overnight. US share markets were held in tight ranges on Thursday. After trading in a 70-point range, theDow Jones ended higher by 6 points, the NASDAQ up 24 points.At the open of trade the ASX…