Business News

5 things you need to know today

1. The S&P/ASX 200 surpassed the previous intraday high (6,851.5) and record high close (6,828.7) yesterday, reaching 6,875.5 points towards the start of the session before closing at 6,845.1 points.

2. Telstra CEO Andy Penn has called on NBN Co to cut wholesale prices, writing in a blog post that "An industry where wholesale prices result in zero margins for the downstream retail providers is unsustainable". NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue dismissed calls for a price cut in an opion piece for the AFR. "It doesn’t surprise me that as the telecoms industry heads into financial results season, NBN’s wholesale pricing plans have been cast in the spotlight once again. Further, what retailer, regardless of industry, doesn’t want to get cheaper services from their wholesaler?" Rue said.

3. Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer has called for stamp duty to be dumped and replaced with a "broad-based land tax" in a speech to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle. "The big upfront cost of buying a home — particularly stamp duty — is both a barrier for buyers and a disincentive for people to sell a home that’s bigger than they need, since they would then incur their own stamp duty when they move," Hartzer said.

4. In the ongoing trade war between China and the US, Donald Trump has again taken to Twitter to criticise China and alleged that the country was not buying more US agricultural products as promised. "That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through," Trump tweeted.

5. The Dow Jones closed slightly lower on Tuesday, down 0.09% to 27,198.02 points, while falls for S&P 500 and Nasdaq were more pronounced, closing down 0.26% to 3,013.18 and down 0.24% to 8,273.61, respectively.

Published on: Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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