Wall Street has dropped on the back of weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data. The world’s second largest economy showed that exports fell by 10% in September, ahead of an expected 3.0% decline. Imports fell by 1.9% last month. The local market played follow the leader, and mining stocks like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto took a hit, falling 2.49% and 2.70% respectively.
Qantas will resume its flights between Sydney and Beijing in January 2017, for the first time since 2009. Qantas will resume direct services on January 25 using Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Qantas shares were up 3 cents or 1% yesterday to $3.16. Australia’s other large airline, Virgin Australia, also plans to launch services to Beijing and Shanghai next June.
Seven West Media is selling its stake in the company that owns Sky News Australia, with News Corp set to finalise the $20m acquisition. It is understood that Australian News Channel’s shareholders have broadly agreed to commercial terms with News Corp, who will take full ownership after it launched an initial bid two years ago. Agreement on final details may extend into the weekend (The Australian).
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has cracked down on super funds over their life insurance sold to fund members, saying they must take greater responsibility, to ensure claims are being paid. APRA says many super funds understand little about what insurers will pay out when a claim is made. Kelly O’Dwyer, the financial services minister, says the government will subject life insurance to similar consumer protection laws as other financial products (The Australian).
At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the share price index was up six points at 5,422.
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