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Rio Tinto's annual profit soars to $US8.8bn

Rio Tinto's full-year net profit has soared 90 per cent to $US8.76 billion ($A11.1 billion), helped by stronger iron ore and coal prices in 2017.

Big banks under pressure

Australia’s major banks are under mounting pressure today, with a draft report from the Productivity Commission raising doubts about competition levels as regulators apply more scrutiny to three of the 'big four'.

Premier starts moves against Myer board

Premier Investments is acting on threats to oust the board of Myer with a request for the department store chain's shareholder register in a first step towards holding a vote to install new directors.

CIMIC soars on dividend lift, new forecast

CIMIC Group's shares have soared after the construction giant raised its dividend by 13 cents on the back of a 21 per cent lift in full-year profit and forecast a rise in profit in the year ahead.

Truly transformational tech

The blockchain is a powerful tool of trust and verification, writes Sam Birmingham.

Bunbury committee chosen

The state government has announced the formation of a development committee to guide three key projects in Bunbury, with Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industries president David Kerr and The Apprentice and Traineeship Company chief executive Stan Liaros among those selected for the committee.

Wellard heads to calmer waters

Improved margins on live cattle voyages have helped agribusiness Wellard reduce its net loss after tax for the first half of the financial year to $7.5 million, nearly 60 per cent lower than the previous corresponding period.

Bankwest nets $339m in half year

Bankwest has recorded a $339 million net profit for the first half of the financial year, fuelled by solid income growth and flat expenses, along with lower loan impairments compared to 2016.

Aust shares jump aboard Wall St rebound

Australia shares are regaining ground after an overnight turnaround on Wall St stablilised three days of horror losses on global markets.

Morning Headlines

Investors try to hold their nerve

$A claws back some ground against $US

The Australian dollar has crept a little higher against its US counterpart the day after global equity markets plunged amid widespread sell-offs that wiped out $US4 trillion in value - $66 billion of it off Australian shares.

Oil dips amid equity rout, $US gain

Oil has fallen for a third day as the US dollar rose to its highest in more than a week in the wake of a sharp sell-off on Wall Street and other stock markets, a global rout that wiped out $US4 trillion ($A5.1 trillion) in value.

Gold slips as traders eye higher US rates

Gold prices have fallen one per cent to a 2-1/2-week low, as investors focused on expectations for higher US interest rates, even as US stock markets swung wildly in both directions a day after the Dow and SP 500 indexes tumbled.

Developer says builder declined help

Singapore-based developer Dradgin Pte disclosed today it had offered financial assistance to Cooper & Oxley Builders, which has suspended work on all its construction sites this week.

ASX sheds $66bn in global market rout

The Australian share market has suffered its biggest one-day fall in more than two years, wiping around 3.3 per cent from its value, after Monday night's plunge on Wall Street.

WA car sales rise in 2018

The state’s automotive industry got off to a positive start in 2018 with a rise in new vehicle sales for January, compared to last year, on the back of increased SUV and light commercial vehicle sales.

WA business upbeat about economic outlook

Western Australian small businesses are unhappy with the current state of the economy but are the most optimistic in the nation about its future, a survey has found.

Retail spending slips in December

Retail spending was more sluggish than expected in December, following a surprisingly strong lift in November.

Jump in imports leads to trade deficit

Australia's trade balance fell into deficit for only the second time in 2017 in December due to a rise in imports.

Finbar launches Applecross apartments

Finbar Group will officially launch the first stage of its $342 million three-tower development at Canning Bridge in Applecross this weekend.

RBA holds cash rate at 1.5%

Consumer spending remains a concern for the Reserve Bank of Australia, which has again left the cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent.

Bhagwan makes CBD move

Marine services business Bhagwan Marine has opened its new head office on St Georges Terrace, after the company announced plans to shift from Geraldton in June last year.

Sayers set to retire

Ausdrill managing director Ron Sayers has announced his retirement after 30 years at the helm of the mining services company he founded.

First step on Infrastructure WA plan

A new state government advisory body to improve analysis and transparency of major projects, Infrastructure WA, will begin work next year, according to Premier Mark McGowan, who launched a draft plan for its establishment today.

Aust shares plunge after US 'bloodbath'

The plunge in US stocks has infected Australian shares, with the local bourse opening sharply lower in a "bloodbath" after the Dow industrials hit its biggest one-day decline in history.

Morning Headlines

Building shutdown

Wall St slips, S&P down 5% from record

US stocks' losses have accelerated in afternoon trading, pushing the S&P 500 down more than 5 per cent from its January 26 record high and the Dow below 25,000 for the first time since January 4.

$A slides further against $US

The Australian dollar has continued to gently slide against a stronger US counterpart despite the latter pausing from its US jobs data and wages growth inspired lift.

Gold steadies after stock market falls

Gold prices have steadied as a slide in stock markets helped the precious metal claw back some lost ground after logging its biggest one-day loss in two months in the previous session.

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