22 February 2024
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5 Things you need to know today

Switzer Daily
30 November 2022

1. Wall Street nervous ahead of big data drops

CNBC says stocks fell overnight as traders struggled to recover from sharp losses suffered in the previous session and looked ahead to more crucial inflation-predicting economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1 point, or 0.003%, higher. The Nasdaq Composite shed 65 points to end down 0.6%, while the S&P 500 lost 6 points, 0.2% ahead of the PCE inflation reading on Thursday and the jobs report on Friday, which could both hurt or help stocks.

“Investors are watching for data coming later this week on topics such as gross domestic product and jobs for insight into how the economy is performing. And they are waiting for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s scheduled speech at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings on Wednesday for clues into whether the central bank will slow or stop interest rate hikes.”

2. Is Ukraine Putin’s Waterloo?

“When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, nobody in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle is believed to have expected the war to last more than a few months,” CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt writes. “As the weather turns cold once again, and back to the freezing and muddy conditions that Russia’s invading forces experienced at the start of the conflict, Moscow faces what’s likely to be months more fighting, military losses and potential defeat.”

That, Russian political analysts say, will be catastrophic for Putin and the Kremlin, who have banked Russia’s global capital on winning the war against Ukraine. They told CNBC that anxiety was rising in Moscow over how the war was progressing.

Napoleon lost out at the battle of Waterloo in Belgium, which is 2000 km from Kyiv but nearly on the same latitude! (It’s a stretch but you can only hope for good omens!)

3. Twiggy tweaking his CEOs

The SMH reports: “Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has defended the culture within his corporate empire and his own management style as he announced the appointment of former Woodside executive Fiona Hick to run his $60 billion iron ore giant Fortescue Metals. Forrest, Australia’s second-richest person with a fortune estimated at $30 billion, said he was thrilled to appoint Hick to the role vacated by Elizabeth Gaines last December, as he attempts an audacious transformation of the company from iron ore miner to green minerals and energy company.

“We were not just hunting for skills, we were looking for personality and character in a person with a strong skill set - someone vulnerable to new ideas” Forrest told this masthead.”

4. Gina can mine minerals and profits

The Australian today tells us what Gina Rinehart is achieving in the mining game.Resources billionaire Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine has delivered another major profit – though commodity prices have hit the iron ore asset’s financial result. Net profit was a bumper $3.2bn for the year to June 30, but falling iron ore prices means the result was down 28 per cent from a record figure in 2021. It was still up 43% from the 2020, when Roy Hill made a $2.2bn net profit, and is among the biggest financial results for any privately-owned Australian company.

Benchmark prices for iron ore averaged $US138 a tonne last financial year, down 10 per cent on the $US154 a tonne from the previous year. Fortescue Metals’s profit fell 40% to $US6.2bn for the year on the back of lower iron ore prices and rising cost pressure in the Pilbara. Similarly, BHP’s underlying iron ore earnings before interest and tax were down almost 20 per cent for the year.

5. Labor not a gas for energy players and Labor!

The AFR says a Labor blue is developing over gas.

“Labor risks picking a fight with the gas industry with a plan to cap prices at between $11 and $13 a gigajoule for commercial and industrial customers in a move that could threaten additional supply and open up a battle between Queensland and southern states. But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk put federal Labor on notice that she will oppose any attempt to force a similar price cap on coal used by state-owned energy companies, declaring “hands off our generators”.

The Premier of the sunshine state is not happy. “There is no way that Queensland is going to sacrifice the returns that we are able to provide back to Queenslanders” as she demanded compensation for the state if the move went ahead,” she insisted.

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