US sharemarkets ended firmer on Friday. Firm US jobs data and higher oil prices underpinned the gains. But shares in IBM fell by 2.5% after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reported that it had sold a third of its stake in the company. The Dow Jones rose by 55 points or 0.3%, the S&P 500 index rose by 0.4% to record highs while the Nasdaq lifted by 25 points or 0.4% to record highs. Over the week the Dow rose by 0.3%, the S&P500 rose by 0.6% and the Nasdaq lifted by 0.9%.
HERE are nine things making news in business and finance today.
1. SYDNEY — The Australian market looks set to open almost one per cent higher following strong performances on US and European markets in their last trading sessions. At 0700 AEST on Monday, the share price futures index was up 55 points, or 0.95 per cent, at 5,872.
2. SYDNEY — Meanwhile, the Australian dollar has crept higher against its US counterpart with the US dollar index failing to get a boost from the stronger-than-expected jobs figures. The local currency was trading at 74.13 US cents at 0700 AEST on Monday, from 73.86 on Friday.
3. PARIS — France’s future in the European Union seems a little more certain, with the pro-European centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron being elected president, defeating the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen.
4. WASHINGTON — Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chairman Warren Buffett has fumed that healthcare costs are eating away at the US economy like “tapeworm” and says the Republican approach to overhaul Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich.
5. BORDEAUX — Bordeaux vineyards in southwest France could lose about half of their harvest this year after two nights of frost damaged the crop at the end of April.
6. HONG KONG — China’s sky-high apartment prices and its footloose generation of millennials are fuelling demand for rental apartments, driving investment by foreign private equity funds and Chinese real estate developers.
7. NEW DELHI — India’s most influential government think-tank has recommended lowering taxes and interest rates for loans on electric vehicles, while capping sales of conventional cars, signalling a dramatic shift in policy in one of the world’s fastest growing auto markets.
8. YOKOHAMA — Japan and China will hold their first bilateral financial dialogue in two years to discuss risks to Asia’s economic outlook, such as the protectionist policies advocated by US President Donald Trump and tension over North Korea.
9. LONDON — British street artist Banksy has taken on Brexit with a mural of a workman chipping away one of the 12 gold stars on the flag of the European Union on a wall in Dover, the ferry port that connects England with Calais in France.