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Americans are more likely to go on shopping sprees when the stock market is rising and what impact raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour could have

Thursday's top personal finance stories


JPMorgan board holds CEO Dimon's annual pay at $31.5 million

JPMorgan board holds CEO Dimon's annual pay at $31.5 million


Biden to push U.S. Congress for money to fight pandemic globally

Biden to push U.S. Congress for money to fight pandemic globally


Crisps lorry held up for two days by Northern Irish Brexit checks, MPs told

A lorry load of potato crisps destined for a Northern Ireland supermarket was held up for two days because of Brexit checks, MPs have been told. The Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin made the claim at the House of Commons public accounts committee (PAC) as the Labour party was told of the “disastrous” impact of the Northern Ireland protocol. Hauliers told the shadow chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves, that Northern Irish Brexit...


Issa brothers name former M&S chief Lord Rose as chairman of EG

Zuber and Mohsin Issa hired the former M&S boss amidst concerns over governance at EG Group, fuelling speculation the pair are preparing the ground for a multibillion-pound stock market listing.


We're about jobs, PM says as jobless fall

The unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 per cent in December from 6.8 per cent the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.


California has environmental allies once again with Biden in the White House

California has led the resistance to Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations in the past four years, with the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, filing a whopping 122 lawsuits challenging Trump administration rules, most of them focused on climate and public health. Now, following Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ swearing in on Wednesday, the Golden State once again has allies in the White House when it comes to...


India stocks hit record highs on economic recovery hopes

Indian stocks hit record highs Thursday, tracking a global rally after the inauguration of US President Joe Biden and reflecting hopes of a domestic economic recovery following this month's vaccine roll-out. Indian IT firms including Infosys and rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recorded strong profits in the October-December quarter, thanks to increased demand for digital services during the pandemic.


Tech giants, media to debate planned code

Representatives from Google and Facebook will appear at a parliamentary inquiry on Friday into proposed laws forcing them to pay news companies for content.


ALEX BRUMMER: Centrica is held hostage by the GMB union

Should your gas boiler break down or there be an interruption to energy supplies in the midst of the bleak winter pandemic, don't expect an immediate response from your British Gas engineer.


MARKET REPORT: Pandemic 'puppy boom' leads Pets at Home to £80m profit

In a third quarter trading update, the UK's biggest pet care business said revenues increased to £302m during the 12 weeks to December 31. That was 18 per cent higher than a year earlier.


‘This is sheer economic waste. We distributed our $1,200 stimulus to our church:’ Why did we get these checks instead of poor Americans?

‘We do not light our fireplace with $100 bills, but we are comfortable.’


Clive Palmer coal mine poses 'significant risks' to Great Barrier Reef, scientists say

A committee of Commonwealth-appointed scientific experts has expressed "extreme concern" about businessman Clive Palmer's proposed central Queensland coal mine, saying the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area just 10 kilometres away could not be safeguarded.


More than a quarter of VET student loans go unpaid. The Productivity Commission says Australia should collect those debts from the dead.

Unpaid VET Student Loan debts should be collected from deceased estates, the Productivity Commission says in a new report. "There is no clear rationale" against treating student debts differently to mortgages or credit card debts, the report claims.


Ethereum has broken its all-time high. Here's why one analyst thinks it could hit $US2,500 this year.

Ethereum broke its all-time high this week before tumbling alongside Bitcoin on Thursday. The cryptocurrency looks to have plenty of upside according to eToro cryptocurrency analyst Simon Peters.


New Zealand manufacturing activity contracts in December

New Zealand manufacturing activity contracts in December


Jordana Brewster is low-key chic getting coffee

Jordana Brewster, 40, was spotted stepping out in the posh Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles to grab a coffee with beau Mason Morfit on Thursday.


I want to propose to my girlfriend — but how do I divide my estate between her and my daughter from a previous marriage?

This letter writer asks: ‘Is it wrong to leave funds passed down from generation to generation solely for my daughter, and leave other funds to my new wife?’


New-home construction activity soars to highest level in over a decade, as builders rush to produce single-family homes

Builders constucted single-family homes at a 12% faster pace in December.


Ford to recall 3 million vehicles for air bags that could rupture

Ford to recall 3 million vehicles for air bags that could rupture


NZ's stronger-than-expected inflation signals interest rates to be left steady

NZ's stronger-than-expected inflation signals interest rates to be left steady


TOWIE star Mick Norcross found dead aged 57

Former TOWIE star Mick Norcross has died aged 57.


Cineworld faces revolt by shareholders over £208m share scheme

Britain’s largest cinema chain is facing a shareholder backlash over a scheme that could result in top bosses being allocated up to £208m in share awards while thousands of staff remaining furlough as all its 127 UK sites remain closed. Cineworld’s shareholders are due to vote on a new pay policy and long-term incentive plan (LTIP) at a special meeting next week. However, the shareholder advisory groups Glass Lewis and ISS have recommended that...


Retail sales likely moderated in December

Retail spending is likely to have moderated in December as COVID-19 restrictions put a dampener on shopping and after the sharp increase in November.


Bank of Japan revises up growth outlook for next two years

The Bank of Japan on Thursday revised its growth outlook upwards for the next two years and maintained its ultra-loose monetary policy as it warned that the pandemic makes clear forecasts less likely. The bank warned in its report that its latest forecasts "could change depending on the consequences of Covid-19 and the magnitude of their impact on domestic and overseas economies".


Next drops bid to buy Topshop after Arcadia's breakup

Next has pulled out of the race to acquire Topshop, the jewel in the crown of Sir Philip Green’s collapsed fashion empire Arcadia, after rival bidders trumped its offer. Arcadia, which employed 13,000 people across 500 outlets when it fell into administration last year, is being broken up. Interested parties had been asked to submit bids for the whole company or individual brands at the start of this week. Next, which was working with the US...


Aust medicinal cannabis ships to Europe

Australia has started exporting medicinal cannabis to Europe with the first batch in a decade-long, $92 million export deal on its way to Germany.


Aust shares close at 11-month high

ASX investors nudged the market to an 11-month high as lower unemployment and US President Joe Biden's first day in office encouraged optimism.


BlackRock opens door to bitcoin in boost for cryptocurrency

BlackRock, Wall Street's biggest money manager, is opening the door to investing in bitcoin futures in a potential boost for the controversial cryptocurrency. Securities filings from the investment giant show at least two BlackRock funds may buy bitcoin, a digital currency which has seen wild swings since being introduced over a decade ago. BlackRock said it may buy bitcoin contracts which have been approved by regulators while acknowledging the...


Nissan forced to shut UK production line owing to supply delays

Nissan has been forced to shut one of the two production lines at its Sunderland factory as the Japanese carmaker faced delays in supplies caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The UK’s biggest car factory has paused production of its Qashqai crossover SUV and its electric Leaf car, with the aim of restarting on Monday. The factory also produces the Juke model. A Nissan spokesman said: “Production on line one at the plant has been paused due to...


Small rise in SA jobless rate in December

The South Australian government says more people now have jobs than before the COVID-19 pandemic despite a rise in the state's jobless rate.


Pfizer Inc. stock falls Thursday, underperforms market


EU website purchases: the import charges UK customers have to pay

Before Brexit, UK consumers were free to buy items from anywhere in the EU without incurring import duties and other charges. That all changed on 1 January 2021. Online orders up to £135 are now supposed to have the UK’s prevailing VAT rate added at the point of sale by the EU retailer - which has to have registered with HM Revenue & Customs. Lots of smaller EU-based retailers have decided that the paperwork of collecting UK VAT is not worth the...


U.S. FDA approves GSK unit's long-acting HIV injection

U.S. FDA approves GSK unit's long-acting HIV injection


Embattled Intel says earnings better than expected

Intel said Thursday earnings topped prior expectations as the computer chip giant faces pressure to come up with bold ways to fend of fierce competition and an activist shareholder. "We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year," outgoing chief executive Bob Swan said in the earnings release.


Man who strained his back picking up company car keys will receive workers compensation

A man who accidentally dropped the keys to a company car, and strained his back picking them up, will receive workers compensation.


ECB meets as virus woes weigh on eurozone

European Central Bank governors meet Thursday to take stock of their monetary stimulus efforts as more infectious strains of the coronavirus and stricter shutdowns cloud the economic outlook. "The short-term path of the eurozone economy will be determined by the virus, vaccines, lockdowns, and fiscal stimulus, not additional monetary stimulus."


Ford to take pension-related $1.5 billion charge in Q4

Ford Motor Co. said late Thursday it expects to take a $1.5 billion pre-tax hit related to its pension plans in the U.S. and overseas. That will reduce the auto maker's net income by about $1.2 billion, but not impact adjusted EBIT or per-share adjusted earnings because of the way it accounts for the benefits, Ford said in a filing. In the same filing, Ford said it will be replacing certain Takata airbag inflators in vehicles including the Ford...


Unemployment drops to 6.6pc, with 50,000 people starting work in December

After losing his job during the peak of the pandemic, Mitch thought he would never work again. But he recently joined 50,000 Australia's who nabbed a job in December as the country's recovery from coronavirus continues.


VW marks 25 years of the patchwork Polo Harlequin with one-off special

Volkswagen Netherlands has marked 25 years of the divisive Polo Harlequin by replicating the same hotchpotch colour scheme on a brand new version of the compact hatchback.


Global stocks mixed as Lagarde warns of continued Covid-19 drag

Global stocks were mixed Thursday, with the Nasdaq pushing to a fresh record on lingering optimism over the US presidential transition while European Central Bank Chief Christine Lagarde warned of continued challenges from Covid-19. Thursday's Wall Street session was choppy after all three major indices surged to records on Wednesday in anticipation of an improving economic picture thanks to newly-installed US President Joe Biden's stimulus plan...


Legal bid to stop UK building Europe's biggest gas power plant fails

A legal bid challenging the UK government’s approval of a new gas-fired power plant has failed in the court of appeal. The challenge was brought after ministers overruled climate change objections from the planning authority. The plant is being developed by Drax in North Yorkshire and would be the biggest gas power station in Europe. It could account for 75% of the UK’s power sector emissions when fully operational, according to lawyers for...


Music rights fund Hipgnosis hits right note with investors

Hipgnosis has had a barnstorming pandemic, spending nearly £1bn to acquire some of the world's best-known artists, including the pint sized pop princess Shakira (pictured).


Geoscience Australia expands earthquake monitoring system in NT's Beetaloo Basin

The cause of tremors near fracking sites remains a mystery in Australia due to a lack of data. Now, as the Federal Government and gas companies target the NT's Beetaloo Basin for fracking, scientists are preparing to answer some seismic questions.


West Virginia touts COVID-19 vaccination success story as national rollout sputters

West Virginia touts COVID-19 vaccination success story as national rollout sputters


Aurora Cannabis agrees to $125 million bought-deal offering

Aurora Cannabis Inc. said late Thursday it has agreed to a $125 million bought-deal syndicated offering, led by BMO Capital Markets and ATB Capital Markets. The underwriters have agreed to buy 12 million units of the company at $10.45 per unit. Each unit is comprised of one common share and one half of one common share purchase warrant, Aurora said. The underwriters have the option to buy an additional 10% of the offering to cover any...


Jobless claim data underscores employment crisis awaiting Biden

Government data released the day after Joe Biden entered the White House made clear the scale of the employment crisis facing the new US president as the country struggles to make it through the Covid-19 pandemic. The government also reported 423,734 new filings made under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed people not normally eligible for benefits.


Liberal MP Warren Entsch says many businesses will need government aid after JobKeeper

Federal Government backbencher Warren Entsch says many businesses will need financial assistance beyond March when JobKeeper ends and is confident more support measures will be announced.


Scott Morrison's regional Queensland tour overshadowed by talk of COVID quarantine site

Scott Morrison has been rubbing shoulders with locals at the pub, touring an oil refinery and making gas industry announcements, but the focus remains on a possible regional quarantine hub at a mining camp.


‘Just get over the marijuana stigma': The benefits of building houses with hemp, according to experts

Industrial hemp - a cannabis plant with very low concentrations of psychoactive chemical THC - can be used to build houses and has several benefits.