27 October 2020
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AP/Nati Harnik

5 things you need to know today

Switzer Daily
18 August 2020

1. Westpac has cancelled its dividend as third-quarter reports came in lower than expected. Westpac released a statement this morning saying, "given the desire to retain a strong balance sheet and the ongoing uncertainty in the operating environment, the board has now decided it is prudent not to pay a first half 2020 dividend".

2. BHP confirmed they will cease thermal coal projects, after years of speculation, announcing their exit from the Mr Arthur mine in NSW, the Cerrejon mine in Colombia and the BHP Mitsui Coal joint venture in Queensland. BHP reported their full year earnings with a 4% drop from last year.

3. One in four Australian businesses (26%) have been knocked back for bank financing, according to the August Sensis Business Index. 37% of the businesses having their applications rejected are in regional towns, compared to 25% of city businesses.

4. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway revealed they invested $US565 million in one of the world's largest goldmining firms, Barrick Gold Corp.

5. The ASX is tipped to rise today, after the S&P 500 inched closer to a new record high. The Dow closed 0.31% lower at 27,844.91, the S&P 500 was up 0.27% to 3,381.99 and the Nasdaq rose 1.00% to 11,129.73.

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