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5 things you need to know today

  • NAB has this morning reported a full-year net profit of $5.3 billion, up more than 1,400% on the small profit of 2016. Last year's small $352 million profit was a result of the loss-making sales of the bank's UK and life insurance businesses. Cash profit was up 2.5% to a record $6.6 billion and the full-year dividend was $1.98 per share. However, NAB has also announced 6,000 job losses by 2020 in a move is says will simplify its business.
  • Overnight, the US Federal Reserve left the federal funds target rate range at 1.00-1.25%. The Fed described economic growth as "solid" and core inflation as "soft". Financial markets believe there is a 92% chance of a rate hike in December. President Donald Trump is set to announce his nomination for Fed chair, and Janet Yellen’s replacement, on Thursday afternoon US time, with Fed Governor Jerome Powell the most likely contender. Powell has supported Yellen's gradual approach to raising rates.
  • In the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) case against Westpac with regard to allegations of it manipulating the bank bill swap rate, Westpac has argued that the corporate regulator does not understand why the bank trades bank bills in the first place. In his opening statement on Wednesday in the Federal Court, Matthew Darke SC acting for Westpac, also argued ASIC has misunderstood the colourful trading desk banter of its star traders. The previous day tapes and transcripts of the bank's traders were played to the Federal Court. "These people don't write and speak like lawyers, as you'll see in due course. They are not as careful with their language as your honour is or my learned friend is," Darke said.
  • In property news, the CoreLogic Home Value Index of capital city home prices was unchanged in October to stand 7% higher over the year. The national home price index was also flat in October to be up 6.6% over the year. It was the smallest annual change in national prices in nine months. Hobart leads annual gains in home prices, up 12.7% in the year to October. Sydney home prices fell 0.5% in October – the biggest monthly fall in 20 months.
  • In the US, the Dow Jones rose 0.3% to 23,435, the S&P 500 gained 0.1% to 2,579, and the Nasdaq fell 0.2% to 6,714. In Europe, the FTSE 100 fell 0.1% to 7,488, and the German DAX was up 1.8% to finish at 13,456. At 7:20am AEDT the ASX SPI 200 futures was up 0.1% at 5,933.

 

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Published on: Thursday, November 02, 2017


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