8 Dec 2017
U.S tax bill moves closer to passage
- Local and global equity markets took a bit of a breather this week with plenty of profit taking given strong runs over the last couple of months.
- European shares did finish higher, boosted by falling currencies (euro & pound), in light of upward pressure on the US dollar.
- In local stock news, the Tabcorp / Tatts merger received a long awaited green light with the competition regulator and a competitor deciding not to apply for a review of the competition tribunal’s decision to OK the merger.
- CSL has announced it will undertake the biggest clinical trial in its 100 year history as it tests a drug that aims to reduce the occurrence of secondary heart attacks in heart attack survivors. CSL plans to invest $723m on phase 3 trials, with more than 17,000 patients from 1,000 different global locations participating.
- The RBA chose to leave the cash rate unchanged for the 16th month in a row. The RBA didn’t cite much change from their last meeting. They appear comfortable and in no rush to change the current setting.
- Australian economic growth came in slightly below expectations in the September quarter, with the economy now growing at 2.8% on an annual basis. Not bad, but below expectations.
- Australian retail sales rose 0.5% in October from September, which came in above market expectations and was a much improved result following poor readings in recent months. October numbers were boosted higher spending on cafes, restaurants, and clothing, with sales up in all states.
- The US Senate approved its tax bill, with the Senate and the House now working through reconciling their respective versions of the legislation. The Senate’s tax-rewrite plan is apparently riddled with bugs, loopholes and other potential problems, given the rush to get it passed before the end of the year.
- Britain and the EU failed to strike a deal on an initial Brexit divorce package. The negotiations fell over due to disagreements surrounding the Ireland (Eurozone) / North Ireland (exiting with Britain) border and changing rules going forward.
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