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  • Toyota invests $71M in driverless cars AAP - 1 hour 30 minutes ago
    Toyota invests $71M in driverless cars

    Toyota is investing $US50 million ($A71 million) with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the hope of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment announced on Friday by the Japanese carmaker will be made over the next five years at joint research centres located in Silicon Valley and another technology hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Toyota has hired robotics expert Gill Pratt to oversee research aimed at developing artificial intelligence and other innovations that will enable future car models to navigate the roads without people doing all the steering and stopping.

  • Toyota getting in gear with smart cars AFP - 11 hours ago
    Toyota getting in gear with smart cars

    Toyota on Friday announced plans to invest $50 million into building artificial intelligence into cars, an indication it could be joining the race to develop driverless vehicles. The joint research with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will take place over the next five years, Toyota Motor Corporation said, emphasizing its interest in technology that could be used by people as they grow old or become less able to drive safely. "We will initially focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the ultimate goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics," Toyota's research and development chief Kiyotaka Ise said in a statement.

  • Fed seen deferring rate hike despite unemployment fall AFP - 11 hours ago
    Fed seen deferring rate hike despite unemployment fall

    The Federal Reserve is expected to put off a long-planned interest rate increase this month despite another fall in the US jobless rate, placing concerns about China ahead of US data. Analysts said Friday that the mixed August jobs report -- job creation slowed to 173,000 but unemployment fell to 5.1 percent -- backed the Fed launching on a long-awaited series of rate hikes to "normalize" monetary policy after years in crisis mode. "Their main concern has not been the current state of the domestic economy, which we know has been strong, but fears about possible spill-overs from China and the stock market volatility on future activity," said Harm Bandholz of UniCredit.

  • US unemployment falls to 5.1%, lowest since April 2008 AFP - 12 hours ago
    US unemployment falls to 5.1%, lowest since April 2008

    The US unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in August, the lowest since early 2008, as the economy motored steadily ahead despite a global slowdown, the Labor Department said Friday. A modest 173,000 new jobs were created last month, below what was forecast, and there were some signs that the US jobs machine was still only in second gear -- wage growth remained slow, and labor force participation was still very low. "The weakness in August employment should not be over-interpreted," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at economic consultancy IHS.

  • Wall St. falls as US jobs data muddies Fed rate hike AFP - 12 hours ago
    Wall St. falls as US jobs data muddies Fed rate hike

    Wall Street stocks fell Friday after a mixed US jobs report clouded prospects for a Federal Reserve interest rate increase amid China-induced global market turmoil. The broad-based S&P 500 retreated 29.91 ...

  • Oil falls as mixed US jobs data clouds Fed rate hike AFP - 13 hours ago
    Oil falls as mixed US jobs data clouds Fed rate hike

    Oil prices fell Friday as investors weighed the outlook for the US economy after mixed jobs data gave no clue on the timing for a Federal Reserve interest rate increase. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for October delivery lost 70 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $46.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. "There isn't any real optimism to support prices," said energy economist James Williams of WTRG Economics.

  • US presses China over currency as G20 seeks to calm nerves AFP - 13 hours ago
    US presses China over currency as G20 seeks to calm nerves

    The United States on Friday pressed China to improve communication of its economic policy and avoid competitive devaluations, as G20 finance chiefs met hoping to calm markets rattled by slowing Chinese growth and the prospect of a US rate hike. The finance chiefs gathered for the two-day meeting in Ankara under Turkey's G20 presidency -- a role that in 2016 goes to China -- at a time of some alarming indicators from the global economy, in particular from key emerging markets. A source close to the talks said that it is not likely the two major sources of concern -- China's slowdown and the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy -- will be directly referenced in the final communique.

  • Ecuadoran villagers can pursue Chevron in Canada: court AFP - 13 hours ago
    Ecuadoran villagers can pursue Chevron in Canada: court

    Ecuadoran villagers can seek to enforce in Canada a multibillion-dollar Ecuadoran judgment against US oil giant Chevron on pollution in the Amazon rainforest, Canada's top court said Friday. Chevron's Canadian subsidiary dismissed the ruling, calling the Ecuadoran judgment fraudulent and unenforceable.

  • Hockey attacks 'detractors' of free trade AAP - 14 hours ago
    Hockey attacks 'detractors' of free trade

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has used a global forum to take aim at "detractors" of free trade agreements. Mr Hockey told a B20 business leaders forum in Ankara, Turkey, that bilateral free deals such as that between Australia and China were the key to prosperity and jobs. "Those that stand in the way of free trade are standing in the way of higher growth and job creation," Mr Hockey told the forum, being held on the sidelines of the G20 finance ministers' meeting.

  • EU loses 168 bn euros in sales tax fraud, errors AFP - 14 hours ago
    EU loses 168 bn euros in sales tax fraud, errors

    EU countries lost 168 billion euros ($187 billion) in sales-tax revenue in 2013 mostly due to fraud and errors, the European Commission said on Thursday. "This important study highlights once again the need for further reform in VAT collection systems across the EU," the bloc's Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in a statement. "I urge member states to take the steps needed to fight tax evasion and tax fraud at all levels.

  • US tells China at G20 to avoid 'competitive devaluation' AFP - 14 hours ago
    US tells China at G20 to avoid 'competitive devaluation'

    US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Friday told his Chinese counterpart at a G20 meeting in Ankara to avoid competitive devaluation and improve communication of Beijing's economic policy. "China should allow its exchange rate to reflect underlying fundamentals, avoid persistent exchange rate misalignments, and refrain from competitive devaluation," a US Treasury spokesperson quoted Lew as telling Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei in a meeting on the sidelines of the G20.

  • New strategy to boost flagging climate talks AFP - 14 hours ago
    New strategy to boost flagging climate talks

    The duo, Algeria's Ahmed Djoghlaf and Daniel Reifsnyder of the United States, promised to have a streamlined version ready in time for the next round of Bonn talks from October 19-23. Crucially, these will be the final five days of official negotiations to prepare for the much-anticipated November 30-December 11 Paris conference tasked with sealing the long-sought universal climate deal. "We have only 1,800 minutes to agree on the draft package for Paris," Djoghlaf said.

  • Court rules Ecuadoran villagers can pursue Chevron in Canada AFP - 15 hours ago
    Court rules Ecuadoran villagers can pursue Chevron in Canada

    Ecuadoran villagers can seek to enforce in Canada a multi-billion-dollar Ecuadoran judgment against US oil giant Chevron on pollution in the Amazon rainforest, the country's top court said Friday. Chevron's Canadian subsidiary dismissed the ruling, calling the Ecuadoran judgment fraudulent and unenforceable. In Canada and in parallel legal fights in the United States and Brazil, the indigenous people of Ecuador's Lago Agrio region have sought to collect compensation for the mass dumping of oilfield waste between the 1970s and 1990s, after an Ecuadoran court ordered Chevron to pay $9.5 billion in damages.

  • G20 finance chiefs meet to calm jitters over China's slowdown AFP - 15 hours ago
    G20 finance chiefs meet to calm jitters over China's slowdown

    G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world's top 20 economies met in Turkey on Friday hoping to calm the nerves of markets rattled by China's slowing performance and the prospect of a US rate hike. The finance chiefs gathered for the two-day meeting in Ankara under Turkey's G20 presidency -- a role that in 2016 goes to China -- at a time of some alarming indicators from the global economy, in particular from key emerging markets.

  • G20 grapples with Europe's migrant crisis AFP - 15 hours ago
    G20 grapples with Europe's migrant crisis

    Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the world's top 20 economies discussed the unprecedented migrant arrivals to the European Union as the G20 began to grapple with the crisis for the first time, a Turkish minister said Friday. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) meanwhile emphasised at the meeting that "well-managed" migration could bring benefits to developed economies. "We discussed for the first time the migration issue in the context of labour migration," Turkey's Labour and Social Security Minister Ahmet Erdem told reporters in Ankara after the first sessions of the two-day G20 meeting got underway in the Turkish capital.

  • Hockey says Aussie dollar not too weak AAP - 15 hours ago
    Hockey says Aussie dollar not too weak

    Treasurer Joe Hockey says the Australian dollar, now sitting below 70 US cents, isn't too low. Mr Hockey said he would leave judgment of fair value of the Australian dollar to the markets. Mr Hockey said Australia had a diversified economy, much more diversified than people appreciated.

  • $A falls to six year low on global worries AAP - 15 hours ago

    Ongoing global economic worries have pushed the Australian dollar to a fresh six year low. "It's the same reason as what we've seen recently," Commonwealth Bank chief currency strategist Richard Grace said. The European Central Bank on Thursday downgraded its economic forecasts and inflation forecasts, and hinted at more stimulus if needed.

  • Market edges higher ahead of US jobs data AAP - 16 hours ago

    The share market has closed slightly higher in a see-sawing session ahead of the release of important jobs figures in the US. Many investors were sitting on the sidelines as they waited for US non-farm ...

  • Boiler room bust on Gold Coast AAP - 16 hours ago

    Two men will front court this month on charges of money laundering after the latest boiler room investment fraud bust on the Gold Coast. Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) alleges the two men, aged 43 and 67, laundered nearly $200,000 generated by a company, Lay Trading Solutions Pty Ltd. As result of the CCC's ongoing Operation Lima Violin II, both have been issued with notices to appear at Southport Magistrates Court on September 24.

  • Economists gloomy after weak data AAP - 16 hours ago

    Australian economists were confronted this week by a one-two combination of soft economic growth figures on Wednesday and a fall in retail trade on Thursday. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) economists Su-Lin Ong and Michael Turner said the economy was "stuck in the slow lane", and lowered their forecasts for GDP growth on the basis of new, lower trajectories for key indicators, including the terms of trade and the ratio of export prices to import prices. One of the stumbling blocks is the lower Australian dollar, which will give the economy a shot in the arm.

  • Aust bonds firm ahead of US jobs figures AAP - 16 hours ago

    The Australian bond market is firmer as traders avoid riskier assets ahead of the release of US jobs figures. Local bonds tracked global moves overnight and were reasonably well bid in the afternoon session, ...

  • European stocks hammered by mixed US jobs report AFP - 16 hours ago
    European stocks hammered by mixed US jobs report

    European stocks fell sharply Friday, giving back gains made the previous day, as a mixed US jobs report left investors guessing whether US interest rates would rise later this month. London's FTSE 100 index dropped 2.15 percent to stand at 6,061.20 points in afternoon trading, while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 2.62 percent to 4,531.76 and in Frankfurt the DAX 30 tumbled 2.77 percent to 10,031.53. Both Frankfurt and Paris had fallen by more than 3 percent at one point.

  • Genting gets NSW nod to lift Echo stake AAP - 16 hours ago

    The NSW gaming regulator has granted permission to Genting Hong Kong to lift its stake in casino operator Echo Entertainment to up to 23 per cent. Genting HK, a leisure, entertainment and hospitality group, currently holds a 6.6 per cent stake in Echo, the operator of The Star in Sydney, Brisbane's Treasury Casino and Jupiters on the Gold Coast. The company's constitution restricts individuals from having a voting power of more than 10 per cent, unless permission is granted by NSW and Queensland gaming authorities.

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - 16 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Friday, Sept 4: EGP - ECHO ENTERTAINMENT - up 10 cents, or 2.2 per cent, at $4.74 The NSW gaming regulator has granted permission to Genting Hong Kong ...

  • Clever homes grab attention at Berlin mega gadget show AFP - 17 hours ago
    Clever homes grab attention at Berlin mega gadget show

    Smartwatches, intelligent homes and drones that follow users wherever they go are on show at Berlin's mega consumer electronics fair, which opened its doors to the public on Friday. Samsung, Huawei and Motorola pick spherical faces for their latest smartwatch offers, giving them a distinctly different look to arch-rival Apple Watch, which has a rectangular face. The Android smartwatch makers are hoping that their models will claw back some market share from Apple, which shipped about four million smartwatches globally in the second quarter, market researcher Strategy Analytics estimated in July.