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  • Aussie shares to open slightly higher AAP - 3 hours ago

    Wall Street closed higher on Friday, clinching the fourth straight week of gains, boosted by strength in telecom stalwarts AT&T and Verizon. "Wall Street would suggest a stronger rise but the problem is commodity prices also fell and that will act as a restraint on resources stocks in our market," he said. CommSec chief economist Craig James said the June inflation was likely to be 1.1 per cent over the year, well below the Reserve Bank of Australia's two-to-three per cent target range.

  • China builds massive seaplane: state media AFP - 10 hours ago
    China builds massive seaplane: state media

    China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft, state media has said, the latest effort in the country's program to wean itself off dependence on foreign aviation firms. The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) unveiled the first of the new planes, dubbed the AG600, Saturday in the southern port city of Zhuhai, the official Xinhua news agency reported. At around the size of a Boeing 737, it is far larger than any other plane built for marine take off and landing, Xinhua quoted AVIC's deputy general manager Geng Ruguang as saying.

  • G20 nations warn of Brexit risk to global growth AFP - 11 hours ago
    G20 nations warn of Brexit risk to global growth

    Finance ministers from the world's biggest economies warned of global uncertainty from Britain's looming departure from the European Union, as they gathered in China on Sunday. Just three months ago, G20 government representatives and central bank chiefs cited Britain's potential exit as one among many "downside risks" for the global economy. Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Saturday that it was a "major" item on the agenda for the G20 finance chiefs meeting in the Chinese city of Chengdu, according to Japanese media.

  • Clouds gather for Turkey economy after attempted coup AFP - 12 hours ago
    Clouds gather for Turkey economy after attempted coup

    The last week alone has shown that life is not going to be easy for Turkey's economy after the coup aimed at unseating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from power. "Turkey's ultimate fragility is the fact that it cannot afford to see the currency go where it may," Michael Harris, Turkey strategist and head of research at Renaissance Capital told AFP.

  • Tourism blow for Greek island that sheltered refugees AFP - 12 hours ago
    Tourism blow for Greek island that sheltered refugees

    When a sea of humanity landed on their island's rocky shores last year, the people of Lesbos turned out with blankets and hot food to help thousands of refugees emerging from the cold waters of the Aegean. In the months that followed, Lesbos' citizens were hailed for their compassionate response by everyone from Pope Francis to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Queen Rania of Jordan and Angelina Jolie. "We were bracing for a difficult season after the migrant crisis but it's even worse than we could imagine," said Marilena Gourgoutzi, staring at the empty tables in her restaurant in the normally bustling port village of Molyvos.

  • EU should suspend funds for Spain, Portugal: letter AFP - 13 hours ago
    EU should suspend funds for Spain, Portugal: letter

    The EU should suspend structural funds to Spain and Portugal after they failed to rein in their debt, according to a letter from the European Commission seen by AFP. Eurozone finance ministers agreed this month to impose unprecedented sanctions against Spain and Portugal for overstepping the bloc's budget deficit limits. European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen said "socio-economic factors," including the Iberian countries' high rates of unemployment, should be taken into account when deciding how much to suspend.

  • Indecisive Fed expected to again hold rates steady AFP - 15 hours ago
    Indecisive Fed expected to again hold rates steady

    Indecision is certainly not the habit of Federal Reserve policy makers. Most observers do not expect the Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets monetary policy, to raise the crucial federal funds rate when they meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington. "I think it's very plausible you'll see zero" change, said Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

  • Bank hacks raise fears for financial sector AFP - 15 hours ago
    Bank hacks raise fears for financial sector

    A series of spectacular cyber attacks against banks, resulting in the theft of tens of millions of dollars, has heightened fears for an industry becoming an increasingly attractive target for hackers. Banks in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam and Ecuador have been victimized over the past year in the attacks on the global interbank service known as SWIFT, and some analysts expect more attacks to become public. Since then, officials said banks have also been hit in the Philippines and Vietnam.

  • G20 countries call tax policy overhaul AAP - 21 hours ago
    G20 countries call tax policy overhaul

    Group of 20 finance ministers say taxation policies should be improved worldwide to reflect globalisation and promote socially balanced, sustainable economic growth. "Changing business models have a serious impact," Lew said on Saturday, pointing to cross border trade and current opportunities for tax avoidance.

  • Ahold, Delhaize finalise mega-merger on US nod AFP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 4:28 PM AEST
    Ahold, Delhaize finalise mega-merger on US nod

    Dutch retail giant Ahold and Belgian rival Delhaize on Saturday said they had finalised their mega-merger after US regulatory authorities gave the union the green light. Both groups said they had inked an agreement to take effect from 2201 GMT after the Federal Trade Commission gave its assent. "With our new management team we are very happy to continue to serve our clients and other shareholders," said Ahold CEO Dick Boer, who becomes CEO of the merged firm with Frans Muller, chief executive of Delhaize, to serve as his deputy.

  • Treasurer trumpets stable AAA outlook AAP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 12:00 PM AEST

    Treasurer Scott Morrison has trumpeted the stable outlook Fitch Ratings has given Australia's AAA credit rating. Mr Morrison acknowledged Fitch and two other major agencies, Moody's and S&P, have expressed concerns that the composition of the new parliament could make the job of fiscal consolidation difficult. "We must ensure the government continues to underpin confidence in the economy by living within our means and avoiding higher debt and deficits that will hurt our economy, and threaten our AAA credit rating," he said in a statement on Saturday.

  • Fiat Chrysler recalling 410,000 vehicles AAP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 11:17 AM AEST
    Fiat Chrysler recalling 410,000 vehicles

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV says it is recalling nearly 410,000 vehicles worldwide because of a defect that can lead to a loss of propulsion. The automaker said it will update software and replace wire harnesses to address the electronic issue that appears in a small number of vehicles. The recall includes 2015 model Chrysler 200 midsize sedans, Ram ProMaster City small vans, Jeep Renegade and Cherokee SUVs and some 2014 Cherokees.

  • G20 countries face calls for action to boost growth AFP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 10:20 AM AEST
    G20 countries face calls for action to boost growth

    The world's leading economies must do more to boost slowing global growth, the International Monetary Fund and Washington urged as G20 finance ministers gathered Saturday, with Britain's vote to leave the European Union threatening more disruption. Central bank chiefs and finance ministers from the world's top 20 economies met in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, and US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told journalists it was "a time of continuing uncertainty in the global economic outlook". Britain's new finance minister Philip Hammond on Saturday met his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble for the first time, and held talks with Chinese central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan.

  • G20 ministers urge tighter tax rules for multinationals AFP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 8:55 AM AEST
    G20 ministers urge tighter tax rules for multinationals

    The world's major economies need to deepen cooperation on tax collection as companies seek to minimise the amount they pay to governments, finance ministers said Saturday. The issue has become controversial in many countries, with multinational firms from Google to Starbucks facing accusations of not contributing appropriately to the economies where they make their money, and multi-billion-dollar merger proposals being partly driven by tax considerations. "When the current cross-border tax rules were developed they were tied to concepts that reflected geography and national boundaries," US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told G20 finance ministers meeting in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

  • IMF urges key G20 countries to spend more for growth AFP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 7:37 AM AEST
    IMF urges key G20 countries to spend more for growth

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned risks to the global economy are growing, as it called on some G20 nations to boost government spending. Central bank chiefs and finance ministers from the world's top 20 economies gathered in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday to tackle a slowing global economy facing new uncertainties with Britain voting to leave the European Union (EU). "Global growth remains weak, and downside risks have become more salient," the IMF said in a report released ahead of the G20 meeting.

  • Connected, self-drive cars pose serious new security challenges AFP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 6:56 AM AEST
    Connected, self-drive cars pose serious new security challenges

    In a world where motor vehicles can be weapons and cars increasingly depend on internal computers and internet connections, automakers are under increasing pressure to find ways to guard against cyber-attacks. Auto industry chiefs, security experts and government officials warned at an auto industry conference here Friday that hackers can threaten to do everything against cars that they do to other computers: remotely steal owner information, or hijack them and render them more dangerous than the truck that killed 84 people in Nice, France on July 14. General Motors' chair and chief executive Mary Barra said that the advanced information technology that comes in new cars, especially "connectivity" systems linking cars to the internet, creates huge new challenges.

  • Preparing for Brexit: UK faces monumental task AFP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 4:32 AM AEST
    Preparing for Brexit: UK faces monumental task

    While British politicians have spent the month since the EU referendum in a whirl of resignations, recriminations and political backstabbings, civil servants have been quietly beginning the mammoth task of implementing Brexit. Unpicking 43 years of EU laws and regulations and forging new alliances outside the 28-nation bloc arguably represents the biggest challenge for Whitehall -- as the civil service is collectively known -- since World War II. Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to implement the June 23 referendum vote to leave the EU -- but what this means in practice is not yet clear.

  • IMF's Lagarde to stand trial AAP - Sat, Jul 23, 2016 1:18 AM AEST

    France's highest appeals court has ruled International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde must stand trial for her role in a 400 million euros ($A588.49 million) state payout in 2008 to businessman Bernard Tapie. The court rejected her appeal against a judge's order in December for her to stand trial at the Cour de Justice de la Republique, a special court that tries ministers for crimes in office. IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said that its executive board had been briefed on the matter and continued to have confidence in Lagarde's capacity to carry out her functions.

  • Donuts in flight in first US-approved drone delivery AFP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 11:05 PM AEST
    Donuts in flight in first US-approved drone delivery

    "We're absolutely thrilled to have 7-Eleven, the largest convenience chain in the world, embracing new technologies and working with us at Flirtey to make drone delivery a reality for customers all over the world," said Flirtey chief executive Matt Sweeny. "This is just the first step in our collaboration with 7-Eleven.

  • IMF's Lagarde to stand trial: French court AAP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 10:58 PM AEST
    IMF's Lagarde to stand trial: French court

    France's highest appeals court has ruled that International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde must stand trial for her role in a 400 million euros ($A588.49 million) payout in 2008 to businessman Bernard Tapie. The court rejected her appeal against a judge's order in December for her to stand trial at the Cour de Justice de la Republique, a special court that tries ministers for crimes in office. Lagarde is accused of negligence by improperly signing off on the decision to allow an extremely rare out-of-court arbitration in a dispute between Tapie, a supporter of conservative former president Nicolas Sarkozy, and the state.

  • US stocks hit new records; weak British data hits pound AFP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 9:48 PM AEST
    US stocks hit new records; weak British data hits pound

    US stocks resumed their upwards push Friday, while the British pound retreated after weak economic data revived talk of monetary stimulus. The S&P 500 climbed to yet another record in New York, as a four-week ...

  • UK economy wilting fast after Brexit vote AAP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 8:43 PM AEST
    UK economy wilting fast after Brexit vote

    Britain's economy appears to be shrinking at the fastest rate since the financial crisis after last month's Brexit vote, according to a business activity index that posted the biggest drop in its 20-year history. An early edition of Markit's purchasing managers' indices showed the services sector - one of the few drivers of British economic growth - has been hit especially hard by the vote to leave the European Union, with orders plunging and confidence crumbling. The PMI for the services sector fell to 47.4 in July from 52.3 in June, the steepest drop since records began in 1996 and the worst reading since March 2009, around the low point of the global economic recession.

  • French trial casts shadow over IMF chief Lagarde AFP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 7:52 PM AEST
    French trial casts shadow over IMF chief Lagarde

    Bad timing: IMF chief Christine Lagarde was in China for a meeting of the powerful G20 countries when the news came Friday that she would be put on trial back home in France over a state payout to a businessman in 2008. Strauss-Kahn's predecessor, Rodrigo Rato, IMF managing director from 2004 to 2007, is facing trial in Spain over alleged misuse of funds as head of Bankia.

  • Farmers warn Brexit labour shortage could hit crops AFP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 6:46 PM AEST
    Farmers warn Brexit labour shortage could hit crops

    British farming leaders warned Friday that post-Brexit curbs on EU immigration could be "devastating" for their sector and suggested a visa system to allow in seasonal workers to pick British crops. "The loss of labour post-Brexit could have a devastating impact on the horticulture industry," National Farmers Union (NFU) president Meurig Raymond said after talks with farming minister Andrea Leadsom. Raymond said that a shortage of seasonal workers could damage the competitiveness of the sector compared to foreign imports "but could also, in the most severe cases, lead to a loss of crops".

  • Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe AFP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 6:20 PM AEST
    Van Gogh, Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe

    Switzerland has seized a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and two others by Claude Monet as part of the global investigation into Malaysia's scandal-tainted sovereign wealth fund, an official said Friday. The works were seized following a request from the United States, one of several countries probing alleged massive fraud at the Malaysian state fund 1MDB, said Swiss justice ministry spokeswoman Ingrid Reyser. "The operation is over and we confiscated the three paintings," Reyser told AFP in an email.