Business News

5 things you need to know today

  • Fortescue Metals has seen its interim net profit slump by almost half because of weaker prices and less demand from China over its lower-quality iron ore. The iron ore miner saw its after-tax profit fall by 44% to $US681 ($866) million for the six months to the end of December. The discount for its lower-grade iron ore increased over the half year to 68% of the benchmark iron ore price from 86% earlier in 2017.

  • Sydney Airport will begin trialling an almost 'passport free' system which allows passengers that are flying overseas to walk through the international terminal, almost without showing their passport. The idea is that your face will be your passport and boarding pass, with the biometric processing having the potential to revolutionise the journey for passengers through the airport. By the end of the year, Qantas passengers who want to be part of the trial will be able to pass through the six steps of check in, bag drop, border processing, security screening, airport lounge and boarding gate after showing their passport only once for verification.

  • Acting Prime Minister Mathias Cormann says company tax cuts are vital to ensure the long-awaited pick up in wages growth continues this year. New figures showed wages growth accelerated above @% for the first time in 18 months raising hopes a long income recession is breaking.
  • Wall Street experienced a highly volatile day (overnight), sparked by the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes, which hinted at further interest rate hikes. US markets fell quickly after the US 10-year treasury bonds lifted to a four-year high of 2.952%. Most of the Fed members see the cost of living moving up towards their inflation target over the medium term.
  • Overnight in markets, the Dow Jones was 0.7% lower at 24,798, the S&P 500 also 0.6% lower at 2,701 while the Nasdaq had a gain, +0.2% at 7,218. Over to Europe, the FTSE finished higher 0.5% at 7,282, the German DAX 0.1% lower at 12,470 and the Euro Stoxx 50 0.1% lower at 3,430.

Published on: Thursday, February 22, 2018

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