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5 things you need to know today

  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg yesterday announced their National Energy Guarantee (NEG) which they say will deliver "cheaper, more reliable electricity for Australian families and businesses". Energy retailers will be required to buy enough power from "dispatchable sources" — such as coal, gas, batteries and pumped hydro — to guarantee supply during peak periods. The Clean Energy Target (CET) has been ditched, but the NEG will require energy retailers to buy enough clean, or cleaner, power to ensure Australia is on track to meet its Paris climate agreement target.
  • In economic news yesterday, the weekly ANZ/Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating decreased by 1.2% to 112.4 after increasing 0.4% in the prior week. Confidence is down 4.6% over the year and below the average of 113.2 since 2014. And the minutes from the Reserve Bank Boards’ October 3 meeting show policymakers continue to expect stronger economic growth on the back of robust jobs growth.
  • Telstra chairman John Mullen, addressing shareholders at the telco's annual meeting on Tuesday, reminded them that the NBN is one of the telco's biggest challenges and the earnings loss was a big factor in Telstra cutting its dividend. "Shareholders will recall the NBN is expected to have around a $3 billion negative impact on our earnings when it is fully rolled out," Mr Mullen said. Telstra said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation is expected to come in between $10.7 billion and $11.2 billion over 2017-18, with revenue between $28.3 billion and $30.2 billion.
  • James Shipman has been appointed as the new head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and will begin his role in February. He is a lawyer at Harvard who worked at the Hong Kong securities regulator and Goldman Sachs. He has been appointed for five years and Peter Kell, the current Deputy Chair, will act as chair from the time Medcraft's term ends on November 12 to when Shipton commences in February.
  • Overnight, after earlier hitting a record high of 23,000, the Dow Jones closed 40.48 points up at 22,997.44, the NASDAQ was mostly unchanged at 6623.66, as the S&P 500 rose just 1.72 points to close at 2559.36. In Europe, the FTSE 100 closed down 10.8 points at 7516.17, as the German DAX lost 8.64 points to finish at 12,995.06.

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Published on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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