Business News

5 things you need to know today

  • As widely expected, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates overnight by a quarter of a percent – the third rate hike in six months. The federal funds target is now between 1% and 1.25%. The Central Bank also forecast one more rate hike this year, but did not indicate when that might be. They also revealed plans to gradually trim bond holdings later this year. Read Peter Switzer’s article today on the Fed’s interest rate decision and what it means for Australia.
  • US markets finished mixed overnight on the back of the latest economic data and the US Federal Reserve’s rate hike decision. Yesterday, US retail sales and inflation data both missed expectations. The Dow Jones ended 46 points or 0.2% higher to a record 21374.56, while the S&P 500 index fell 2.43 points or 0.1% to 2437.92, and the Nasdaq fell 25.5 points or 0.4% to 6194.89. 
  • Global oil prices fell by around 3.5% yesterday after an unexpected lift in US petrol inventories in the latest week. The International Energy Agency also forecast a large increase in oil supply in the coming year, driven by non-OPEC members (AAP). Brent crude fell by US$1.72 or 3.5% to US$47.00 a barrel, while US Nymex fell by US$1.73 or 3.7% to US$44.73 a barrel. 
  • Activist investor Tribecca has urged BHP to look outside the company’s walls for a replacement chairman to Jac Nasser. However, they named former Amcor boss, Ken MacKenzie, as their preferred internal candidate. According to the Australian Financial Review, Tribecca’s natural resources portfolio manager Ben Cleary said there was a large base of support among BHP shareholders for an external candidate such as outgoing MMG chief Andrew Michelmore, former BHP chief executive Charles Goodyear, or BlueScope Steel MD, Paul O’Malley. Read Paul Rickard’s article today on BHP’s chairman transition. 
  • Locally, look out for the key monthly employment data released this morning at 11:30am AEST. In the US, industrial production data is released, along with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey and weekly data on claims for unemployment insurance (CommSec).

Published on: Thursday, June 15, 2017

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