Business News

6 things you need to know today

  • Donald Trump has moved to ban “bump stock” devices that turn legal semi-automatic weapons into machine guns, and which was used in last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas. Trump announced his support for the ban nearly a week after 17 people were killed at a high school in Florida by a former student.
  • BHP has delivered shareholders a $US2.9 billion dividend bonanza thanks to a 25% jump in underlying profit to $US4.1 billion for the first half of fiscal 2018. BHP's after tax profit dropped 37% and the company blamed accounting losses from the recent US company tax cuts. It also took a $US210 million loss over the half year because it was paying compensation and clean-up costs for the 2015 Samarco mine disaster in Brazil.
  • Wesfarmers has announced its half-year net profit fell by 87 per cent. On Tuesday, the retail conglomerate reported net profit of $212m for the six months to December 31, down from $1.57 billion for the same period a year earlier.
  • NAB workers are the latest to fall after automation software and artificial intelligence (which takes over complex tasks) were instroduced. Six thousand workers — one in every five members of NAB's workforce, are set to leave the company this week.
  • Crisis-ridden Venezuela is launching an oil-backed cryptocurrency, that it hopes will help circumvent US financial sanctions and resurrect the country's declining economy. The pre-sale of the "petro," which will represent a barrel of crude from a specific division in the country's Orinoco oil belt, started on Tuesday morning. Investors were offered US$60 "tokens" at discounted rates that they can exchange for petros during what is being dubbed an "initial coin offering," or ICO.                                                                                                                             
  • Wall Street had a lacklustre overnight performance -  The Dow Jones was lower 1% at 24,965, S&P 500 was also lower 0.6% at 2,716 and the Nasdaq also dropped 0.1% to7,234. Over to Europe, the FTSE remained flat at 7,247, the German DAX rose 0.8% to 12,488 and the Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.8% at 3,436.

Published on: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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