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  • Joyce Berlin-bound for agriculture talks AAP - 11 minutes ago
    Joyce Berlin-bound for agriculture talks

    Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is bound for Germany where he will gather with international counterparts in a bid to boost Australia's exports. Mr Joyce will attend the G20 Agriculture Minister's Meeting in Berlin and chair a session on water access at the 9th Berlin Agricultural Ministers' Conference. "There is much that we can contribute at an international level by sharing Australia's experiences, our successes and our challenges, but equally a great deal we can learn from our partners who face similar challenges," he said on Thursday ahead of the trip.

  • Trump backs off moving news briefings AAP - 13 minutes ago
    Trump backs off moving news briefings

    US President-elect Donald Trump has scrapped a proposal to move news briefings out of the White House, but says he wants his team to choose who gets into the press room. Trump, who will be sworn in on Friday as the 45th US president, has had a contentious relationship with some prominent US news organisations, banning a number of news outlets during the presidential campaign and publicly criticised individual reporters. The Republican New York businessman has used Twitter as his main tool of communication and did not hold a news conference as president-elect until two months after the November 8 election.

  • Carsales founder stepping down as CEO AAP - 16 minutes ago

    Carsales managing director and chief executive Greg Roebuck is stepping down after two decades with the company he co founded. He will be replaced by chief operating officer Cameron McIntyre from March ...

  • Bega to acquire Vegemite in $460m deal AAP - 16 minutes ago
    Bega to acquire Vegemite in $460m deal

    Bega Cheese has agreed to buy brands including Australian icon Vegemite in a deal worth $460 million. Bega says it will acquire Vegemite, ZoOSh mayonnaise, Bonox and other products under the agreement to buy most of Mondelez International's Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business. "In addition to Vegemite and the other brands being undeniably iconic, the people we are taking on are very impressive and will play an important role in growing the merged business," Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said in a statement.

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 20 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: RIO - RIO TINTO BHP - BHP BILLITON FMG - FORTESCUE METALS Iron ore prices fell 25 US cents to $US82.00 overnight, while benchmark copper closed up 0.3 ...

  • Facebook grows as campaign news source AAP - 28 minutes ago
    Facebook grows as campaign news source

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton voters had different media diets, but a study finds common ground in Facebook as an important news source - even if their individual feeds bore little resemblance to each other's. Facebook was the top non-television source for election news cited by supporters of both candidates, according to a survey by the Pew Research Centre. The social media site's import as a driver of political news has been underscored by the lingering controversy of people using it to spread false news stories.

  • Expect Fed to gradually hike rates: Chair AAP - 38 minutes ago
    Expect Fed to gradually hike rates: Chair

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she expects the Fed to raise its benchmark interest rate several times a year through 2019, as it moves closer toward to its economic goals of maximum employment and stable inflation. The 3 per cent level for the Fed's target for the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, is the point that the Fed currently believes is the so-called neutral rate - the level where the Fed's interest rate policies are not spurring growth or holding it back.

  • Court denies request for Samsung head AAP - 44 minutes ago
    Court denies request for Samsung head

    A Seoul court has denied a request to arrest Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, a setback to prosecutors investigating an influence-peddling scandal that toppled South Korea's president. The Seoul Central District Court said on Thursday that a judge concluded that there was not enough reason to detain the 48-year-old Samsung heir at this stage. It is not uncommon in South Korea to issue an arrest warrant past midnight for cases that are important and have many contentious points, said Shin Jae-hwan, a spokesman for the Seoul court.

  • Banks to shift jobs from UK post Brexit AAP - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
    Banks to shift jobs from UK post Brexit

    Two of Europe's biggest banks have warned that they could each move about 1,000 jobs out of London as they prepare for expected disruption caused by Britain's exit from the European Union. UBS Chairman Axel Weber said that about 1,000 of the Swiss bank's 5,000 employees in London could be affected by Brexit, while HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said his bank will relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris.

  • Australian stocks seen flat at open AAP - 1 hour 9 minutes ago

    The Australian share market is set to open steady with Wall Street flat as gains in technology stocks offset a weakness in retail companies. At 0730 AEDT on Thursday, the local SPI 200 futures contract ...

  • UK can't pick and choose Brexit terms AAP - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
    UK can't pick and choose Brexit terms

    European Union leaders have countered British optimism about a smooth and mutually beneficial divorce between Britain and the EU. Many have declared that despite what British Prime Minister Theresa May thinks, Britain will not dictate the terms it leaves the bloc by. EU President Donald Tusk warned Britain that it will not be able to "pick-and-choose" the choicest bits of trade and immigration as both sides wade into the negotiations this spring.

  • Greece reports outbreak of bird flu AAP - 1 hour 27 minutes ago
    Greece reports outbreak of bird flu

    Greece reported an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus among laying hens on a farm in the southern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said. The country had already reported a case of H5N8 in a swan in December but this would be the first outbreak on a farm. The H5N8 Bird flu virus has spread among European countries in recent months with more than 20 countries hit so far, according to the OIE.

  • Corbyn attacks May for 'demeaning' the UK AAP - 1 hour 50 minutes ago
    Corbyn attacks May for 'demeaning' the UK

    Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of "demeaning" her office and her country by threatening to make the UK an offshore tax haven if she cannot get the Brexit deal she wants from the EU. The Prime Minister denied the Brexit plan she unveiled on Tuesday was based on threats, insisting she had set out a vision for "a stronger, fairer, more united, more outward-looking, prosperous, tolerant and independent, truly global Britain". The exchange at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons came after Brexit Secretary David Davis said Britain may not have fully freed itself from European Union rules until 2021.

  • International markets roundup AAP - 1 hour 58 minutes ago

    The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were little changed in choppy trading on Wednesday as gains in tech stocks offset a weakness in retail sector, while the Dow was pulled lower by healthcare shares. The S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector was the biggest drag on the broader index, falling 0.4 per cent as Target weighed. The big-box retailer's shares fell 5.5 per cent - their biggest single-day drop since August - after the brick-and-mortar chain reported dismal results for the holiday season and cut its quarterly earnings forecast.

  • $A dips ahead of Janet Yellen's speech AAP - 2 hours 7 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar is lower as pressure on the US dollar eased ahead of US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's speech. The local currency was trading at 75.36 US cents at 0635 AEDT on Thursday, up ...

  • Wall Street treads water as investors await inauguration AFP - 10 hours ago
    Wall Street treads water as investors await inauguration

    Wall Street finished largely without direction on Wednesday, with the Dow falling for a fourth straight session as investors held their breaths ahead of Friday's inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. At the closing bell, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 0.1 percent to 19,804.72, while the broader S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent to 2,271.89 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.3 percent to 5,555.65. The Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index, an important measure of inflation, continued to see steady gains in December, with one measure seeing its largest 12-month gain in two and a half years.

  • Fed's Yellen says 'nonpartisan' central bank close to goals AFP - 11 hours ago
    Fed's Yellen says 'nonpartisan' central bank close to goals

    The US central bank is close to achieving its inflation and employment goals, but any policy moves will depend on how the economy evolves, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday. Speaking just two days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, perhaps the most remarkable thing about the speech was that Yellen twice emphasized that the Fed is nonpartisan and designed to be isolated from political pressures. "At the Fed, we too are nonpartisan and focused squarely on the public interest," Yellen told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

  • US sues Oracle alleging discrimination in pay AFP - 12 hours ago
    US sues Oracle alleging discrimination in pay

    The US Labor Department on Wednesday sued business software giant Oracle alleging "systemic" discrimination in pay against female, African American and Asian employees. The administrative lawsuit also challenges Oracle's practice of "favoring Asian workers in its recruiting and hiring practices" for key technical jobs, saying it discriminates against non-Asian applicants. "Federal contractors are required to comply with all applicable anti-discrimination laws," said Thomas Dowd, acting director of the office.

  • Canada gets advance notice of US trade intentions AFP - 12 hours ago
    Canada gets advance notice of US trade intentions

    The United States will seek a new dispute resolution mechanism and tighter country of origin rules in a rejigged continental trade pact with Canada and Mexico, a newspaper reported Wednesday. The daily Globe and Mail said incoming US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross informed the Canadian government of the administration's demands. The country of origin rules spell out exactly how much content from outside North America a product can contain and be shipped duty-free within the trade bloc.

  • Power plant worker sickies in Vic to stop AAP - 12 hours ago
    Power plant worker sickies in Vic to stop

    Workers who have been chucking sickies at one of Victoria's biggest power plants, forcing it to function at half capacity, have been ordered to stop unprotected industrial action. Loy Yang power plant owners AGL says they were forced to go to the Fair Work Commission on Wednesday because "increased absenteeism and staff not being available for overtime" over an industrial pay dispute. "AGL Loy Yang was forced to start the day running at 50 per cent capacity with only two of the four units available," AGL said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • China's richest man warns Trump against trade war AFP - 12 hours ago
    China's richest man warns Trump against trade war

    China's richest man, Hollywood investor Wang Jianlin, warned Donald Trump Wednesday against dragging the entertainment industry into a trade war -- saying his country's millions of movie-lovers are key to the future of cinema. The Chinese billionaire joined a chorus of concern from international business chiefs gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week over the protectionist leanings of the US president-elect, who takes office Friday. Wang, whose Wanda conglomerate owns a US cinema chain, a Hollywood production company and the firm that runs the Golden Globe awards, said America would be the bigger loser if the entertainment sector fell victim to a trade war.

  • US economy continues to expand, optimism about 2017 growth: Fed survey AFP - 12 hours ago
    US economy continues to expand, optimism about 2017 growth: Fed survey

    The US economy continues to expand and is now seeing tight labor markets and rising price pressures, as businesses nationwide have an upbeat outlook for 2017, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. "Firms across the country and industries were said to be optimistic about growth in 2017," the Fed's Beige Book survey of the economy said. Most of the 12 Fed districts reported tighter labor markets, including increasing wages or trouble filling open positions, while price pressures have "intensified" since the last survey in November.

  • FIA validates F1 '$8 billion' takeover AFP - 13 hours ago
    FIA validates F1 '$8 billion' takeover

    Formula One's governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), said Wednesday it had approved Liberty Media's $8 billion takeover of the sport. "The World Motor Sport Council has unanimously approved the change of control of Delta Topco Limited (the holding company of the Formula One Group and rights holder) from CVC Capital Partners in favour of Liberty Media Corporation," a statement read following an extraordinary meeting in Geneva.

  • IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche AFP - 13 hours ago
    IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche

    Egypt has made a "good start" on reforms under a loan deal with the International Monetary Fund and soaring inflation is expected to drop around mid-2017, an IMF official said Wednesday. Chris Jarvis, the international lender's mission chief in Egypt, said the North African country's implementation of the reforms had put it on track to receive its next aid tranche. "I think Egypt's made a... good start" on the reforms, Jarvis said in a live webcast.

  • Vic power plant worker sickies to stop AAP - 13 hours ago

    Workers not turning up for work at a Victorian power plant, leaving the plant at half capacity, have been ordered to stop unprotected industrial action. Loy Yang power plant owners AGL says they were forced to go to the Fair Work Commission on Wednesday because "increased absenteeism" over an industrial pay dispute has resulted in the power plant not being able to run at full capacity over the past six days. The Fair Work Commission ruled in AGL's favour, and ordered members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to cease unprotected action.