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7 things you need to know today

  • The Turnbull government's Foreign Policy White Paper is warning that China's increasing belligerence over territorial disputes and the possibility of power shifting too rapidly to Beijing to Australia's detriment, calls for stronger efforts to maintain American presence in Asia and to bolster ties with neighbouring democracies as a check against Beijing's rise. The white paper is to be released on Thursday by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo.
  • Australian construction work has hit record highs and construction work done soared by 15.7% in the September quarter, underpinned by work on large engineering projects in Western Australia. Engineering work rose by 33.0% in the September quarter; commercial building fell by 0.6%; residential building fell by 0.3%.
  • Minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting held over October 31 and November 1 show that many participants felt that a rate increase was likely warranted in the near term if the economy remained on track. But a few members thought a rate hike should be deferred until data showed inflation was clearly on a path to the 2% rate target.
  • Australian workers are donating an estimated $130 billion a year to their employers through unpaid overtime, according to workplace thinktank Australia Institute's Centre for Future Work. The survey found the average worker was doing 5.1 hours a week in unpaid work. "That includes everything from going in early or staying late at work, to working through breaks, working through lunch, taking work home, answering emails in the middle of the night," the centre's director Jim Stanford told ABC News.
  • Car and truck dealership owner Automotive Holdings Group has announced this morning that it is selling its refrigerated logistics business to China's HNA Group in a $400 million deal. HNA subsidiary CC Logistics will pay $280 million in cash and assume $120 million of finance lease liabilities for its Rand, Harris, Scott's and JAT businesses.
  • Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has announced new housing measures overnight to try to win back voters. He said he would offer help to voters by abolishing a property purchase tax for 80% of first-time home-buyers, keeping a freeze on fuel duty and spending more on the health service.
  • Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones was down 0.3% at 23,562, the S&P 500 fell 0.1% to 2,597, and the Nasdaq rose 0.1% to 6,867. In Europe, the FTSE was up 0.1% at 7,419, and the German DAX fell 1.2% to 13,015.

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Published on: Thursday, November 23, 2017

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