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5 things you need to know today

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Published on: Monday, December 05, 2016

  • The combined capital city preliminary clearance rate was 75% this week compared to 73% last week. According to research house CoreLogic, clearance rates are “maintaining strength coming into summer, a trend that is very different compared with last year’s performance when auction clearance rates were tracking in the high 50% to low 60% range.” Auction volumes are expected to slow over the remaining weeks of the year – there were 3,171 reported auctions compared to 3,398 last week - but clearance rates are expected to remain strong. Sydney’s preliminary clearance rate was 77.7%, up from 77.1% last week, while Melbourne’s clearance rate was 79.3%, up from 76.1% over the previous week. 
  • Duet Group is considering a takeover bid of $7.3billion from Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure. The indiciative, non-binding and conditional takeover offer has been confirmed by the energy utility operator. CKI offered $3 for every Duet share – the price presents a near-28% premium to Duet’s Friday closing price of $2.35. “The Boards of the Duet Group are currently evaluating the Proposal and at this time security holders are advised to take no action as there is currently no certainty the Proposal will proceed further,” said a statement to the ASX. 
  • The Green Army, a signature environmental policy of the Abbott government, is expected to be abolished at this month’s mid-year federal budget update, saving over $350 million. The Australian Financial Review reports that the decision was made by the Expenditure Review Committee over a week ago, but the savings were used to cover the $100 million promised to Landcare as part of the Government’s deal with Greens last week (in order to pass the backpacker tax). The Green Army aimed to create a group of 15,000 people between 17 and 24 from the unemployed to work on local conservation projects, including landscape restoration. 
  • In US economic data, employment rose 178,000 during November (seasonally adjusted), after a downwardly-revised gain of 142,000 during October. This number came in slightly below the 180,000 jobs forecast in a Reuters survey. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9% to 4.6%, the lowest level in more than nine years. Wages fell 0.1%. 
  • At 0645 AEDT on Monday, the share price index was up 21 points at 5,465.


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