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PM claims underdog status before election

CANBERRA, AAP – Scott Morrison is claiming underdog status ahead of a federal election following a new poll showing him losing ground as preferred prime minister. The latest Newspoll has the coalition regaining marginal ground against the opposition but still trailing Labor 47-53 per cent after preferences. “I think that is fairly clear, but I…

ASX dips as miserly week continues

SYDNEY, AAP – A second-half fade in trading caused losses for a third consecutive day on the ASX. BHP and Fortescue Metals each lost more than two per cent on Wednesday as miners proved the biggest weights. Rio Tinto lost 1.65 per cent. Energy companies were the next biggest losers. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed…

ASX stays positive after US taper call

SYDNEY, AAP – ASX investors have raised the indices despite the US Federal Reserve’s decision to ease bond purchases and a big drop in oil prices. Shares were a little higher on Thursday and most categories were up following more record closing highs on Wall Street. The US central bank will begin easing pandemic support…

IAG flags greater costs from wild weather

SYDNEY, AAP – Insurance Australia Group has raised its cost estimate for severe weather this financial year after storms and hail damaged several states last month. IAG on Tuesday increased its natural peril claim costs forecast from $765 million to $1.04 billion, having already increased the allowance significantly on the prior year. About 14,000 claims…

Buying a home is ‘never easy’: Morrison

CANBERRA, AAP – Scott Morrison insists buying a home has never been easy as concerns grow property ownership dreams are becoming impossible. The prime minister pointed to federal government schemes to help first home owners and renovators as actions to curb the affordability crisis. “Buying a home is never easy,” he told Melbourne radio 3AW…

Exemptions scrapped for overseas travel

CANBERRA, AAP – Fully vaccinated Australians will no longer have to apply for travel exemptions to leave the country, as the country prepares to ease its international borders. Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the exemption will no longer be in place from Wednesday, ahead of the resumption of international travel from November 1. Meanwhile, Singapore…

Government-run super fund a ‘dud’: report

CANBERRA, AAP – Industry Super Australia has pre-empted any attempt to create a federal government-run superannuation default fund, saying it would dud workers out of thousands of dollars. Its modelling shows a 30-year-old worker in such a government-run fund would pay exorbitant fees, earn lower investment returns and end up $126,000 worse off at retirement…

Origin Energy pays $5m fine for exit fees

MELBOURNE, AAP – Origin Energy has been hit with $5 million in penalties for charging prohibited exit fees to more than 20,000 gas and electricity small business customers. Victoria’s Essential Services Commission issued 250 penalty notices to Origin Energy after it found more than 77,000 gas and electricity small business contracts wrongly included exit fees…

Comms stocks drag down Nasdaq, S&P

NEW YORK CITY, RAW – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have closed lower as disappointing quarterly reports from Snap Inc and Intel Corp put pressure on the communications and technology sectors and investors turned skittish as Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell discussed stimulus tapering. The Dow managed to end Friday with a record closing high…

Delta lockdowns hit Aussie business turnover

Delta lockdowns hit Aussie business turnover Monthly business turnover indicator In August, business turnover rose the most for Transport, postal and warehousing (up 2.8 per cent). But turnover fell by the most in August for Accommodation and food services (down 6.5 per cent). Monthly business turnover indicator – August 2021 • The Australian Bureau of…