Friday, September 29, 2023
Friday, September 29, 2023
HomePet Industry NewsPet Travel NewsLive news: BHP admits underpaying staff for 13 years

Live news: BHP admits underpaying staff for 13 years


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What to watch in North America today

Manufacturing: Activity in the US manufacturing sector is expected to have remained in contractionary territory in May. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index is forecast to have edged down 0.1 point to a reading of 47 from April’s level, according to economists polled by Refinitiv.

Other economic data: New applications for unemployment aid are forecast to have increased to 235,000 in the week ended May 27 from 229,000 jobless claims in the prior week. Construction spending is forecast to have increased 0.2 per cent in April from a 0.3 per cent increase in March.

Earnings: Investors will seek signals on consumer sentiment as several companies report today. Discount chain Dollar General, department store operator Macy’s and Spam maker Hormel report quarterly earnings this morning. Athleisure retailer Lululemon and discount retailer Five Below report after market close. Elsewhere, PC maker Dell and chipmaker Broadcom report this afternoon.

Fedspeak: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia president Patrick Harker will speak on the economic outlook before the National Association for Business Economics monetary policy and outlook webinar.

BHP admits underpaying staff for 13 years

The world’s largest mining company has admitted that it underpaid almost 30,000 workers over a 13 year period which will cost at least $280mn (A$430mn) to redress.

BHP, Australia’s largest company, said that it had incorrectly deducted leave from thousands of staff that were shifted to work on public holidays since 2010, when a change to employment laws was implemented but not fed into its payroll systems.

The financial hit for the A$212bn valued miner could rise further as it continues to review the problem and as it integrates its near-A$10bn acquisition of South Australian rival OZ Minerals. It completed the deal this month but said the leave deduction issue had affected OZ as well.

UK companies show signs of tempering price rises, says BoE

The Bank of England received some relief from poor UK inflation data on Thursday as its own survey showed companies moderating their pricing intentions over the coming year. 

Businesses surveyed in the BoE’s May decision maker panel said they expected to raise prices 5.1 per cent in the year ahead, down from 5.9 per cent in April. 

The central bank cautioned that these figures are volatile, however. The price rise expectations are still far in excess of the BoE’s 2 per cent inflation target and its own forecast of inflation over the coming year, which stood at only 3.4 per cent. 

Eurozone inflation falls more than expected to 6.1 per cent

Inflation in the eurozone has fallen more than economists expected, hitting its lowest level since Russia invaded Ukraine over a year ago and bolstering hopes that monetary policymakers could stop raising interest rates this summer.

Consumer prices in the 20-country single currency bloc rose 6.1 per cent in the year to May, decelerating from 7 per cent in April. That is the lowest level since February 2022 and is lower the 6.3 per cent forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

Core inflation, which strips out energy and food prices, fell from 5.6 per cent in April to 5.3 per cent in May — a greater fall than economists expected but it may still not be enough to convince policymakers to halt rate rises.

European and Asian stocks advance after US vote to raise debt ceiling

European and Asian stocks rallied on Thursday as the bill to raise the US debt ceiling and avert a historic US government default took a significant step forward in Washington.

Europe’s region-wide Stoxx 600 rose 0.7 per cent and France’s Cac 40 added 0.9 per cent, recouping losses from the previous session, while London’s FTSE 100 added 0.4 per cent.

The gains came after the House of Representatives voted 314-117 on Wednesday in favour of a bill to raise the $31.4tn US debt ceiling for two years, in exchange for caps on federal spending.

Zelenskyy steps up pressure for Nato membership

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is in Moldova for the European Political Community summit © AP

Ukraine is ready to join Nato but is waiting for the alliance to reach an agreement on its entry, president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, stepping up pressure on western governments as a debate over providing security guarantees to Kyiv intensifies.

Ukraine has long seen membership of the military alliance as the foundation of its future security, but Nato allies are divided over how and when that could take place, and whether offering Kyiv bilateral security guarantees is a possible step towards that.

“Ukraine is ready to be in Nato. We are ready for when Nato is ready . . . We need all the unity through the alliance and we are working on it,” Zelenskyy told reporters at the European Political Community summit in Moldova.

Risers and fallers in Europe

Big share moves in Europe today include British bootmaker Dr Martens, UK-based digital car trading portal Auto Trader and Italian pharma company Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica:

  • Dr Martens: Shares in the UK-based bootmaker dropped 11 per cent in early trading after the company warned that its profit margins would fall this year as operational issues and bottlenecks in its Los Angeles warehouse would continue into 2025. 

    Line chart of Share price (p) showing Dr Martens struggles to get grip on operational issues
  • Auto Trader: Shares in the UK-based online car marketplace slipped 2.3 per cent on Thursday after the company announced its chair Ed Williams will step down. He is to be replaced by Matt Davies. Auto Trader reported full-year group revenue to the end of March of £500mn, slightly above the £494mn predicted by economists polled by Reuters. Its operating profit fell 9 per cent to £278mn.

  • Recordati Industria Chimica e Farmaceutica: The Italian pharmaceutical company was the biggest riser on the region-wide Stoxx 600 early on Thursday, climbing 4 per cent after JPMorgan raised its target price to €54 from €50.

Margins to fall at bootmaker Dr Martens


Dr Martens has warned that its profit margins will fall this year as it invests in infrastructure to solve operational problems and boost future growth.

The UK based bootmaker said temporary warehousing costs in Los Angeles, where it has experienced a bottleneck in its operations, will unwind in 2025, with price increases covering supply chain cost inflation.

Margins at the level of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped 4.5 percentage points to 24.5 per cent in the year ended March 31. The company said on Thursday that they would drop another 1 to 2 percentage points in the current year.

The shares dropped 11 per cent in early trading in London.

Zelenskyy joins European leaders in Moldova for security summit

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has arrived in Moldova’s capital Chisinau for the European Political Community summit, he announced early on Thursday, for a gathering of regional leaders to discuss security issues including Russia’s full-scale invasion.

“Today we work in Moldova. Participation in the summit of the European political community,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post.

Zelenskyy said he would focus on securing western fighter jets and more US-made Patriot air defence systems to protect his country’s skies. Discussions would also focus on a peace formula to end the war, and Ukraine’s EU and Nato integration plans.

UK house prices fall 0.1 per cent in May as rate concerns persist

A row of houses in London
© NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

UK house prices fell 0.1 per cent in May compared with April, reversing last month’s unexpected rise as potential buyers show skittishness over the prospect of further interest rate rises.

Data from mortgage provider Nationwide on Thursday showed the fall represented an annual change of minus 3.4 per cent.

Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner said headwinds for the housing market “look set to strengthen in the near term”, with interest rates potentially exerting renewed upward pressure on mortgages. 

Last month UK house prices unexpectedly rose, ending seven consecutive months of decline.

Stoltenberg to meet Erdoğan for talks on admitting Sweden into Nato

© AP

Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg will travel to Turkey “in the near future” for talks with newly re-elected president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on admitting Sweden into the military alliance quickly.

Stoltenberg said on Thursday ahead of an informal meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers that he would convey to Erdoğan that it was “in the interest of all of Nato to have Sweden as a member” when he visited him in the coming days.

Allies including the US and Norway, the host of the informal meeting, have stepped up pressure on Ankara to end its year-long opposition to the admittance of Sweden before the Nato summit in Vilnius in July.

China’s Guangdong seeks bids for 23GW of offshore wind power

China’s southern province of Guangdong is calling for municipal governments to submit bids to install 23 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity — more than the world has ever built in a year. 

Eight coastal cities in Guangdong need to submit bidding proposals by the end of this month for the construction of 7GW of facilities in provincial waters and 16GW in national waters, according to a draft plan released by the provincial development commission. 

Guangdong, adjacent to Hong Kong and home to more than 125mn people, is China’s economic powerhouse and consumes more energy than any other province.

Head of UK chip designer Arm holds talks with China deputy minister

Arm chief executive Rene Haas speaks in Taiwan on Monday
Arm chief executive Rene Haas speaks in Taiwan on Monday. Haas emphasised China’s importance to the company in a meeting with a deputy minister © Ritchie B Tongo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The head of UK chip designer Arm met Chinese officials in Beijing on Monday as the group sought to resolve issues over its plan to sell shares in New York. 

While Arm has tried to wash its hands of its problematic Chinese joint venture, Beijing has so far refused to process paperwork confirming the transfer of its stake to owner SoftBank. 

In the meeting with Zhang Guangjun, a deputy science and technology minister, Arm chief executive Rene Haas emphasised China’s importance to the company. Zhang encouraged Arm to step up cooperation with Chinese partners, according to a ministry statement.

The UK group took nearly two years to regain control of its China operations after the local head took over the business in June 2020.

Pre-dawn Russian missile barrage kills 3 people in Ukrainian capital

Russia launched a wave of ballistic missiles at Kyiv before dawn on Thursday, killing three people, including two children, and injuring 14 others, according to Ukrainian authorities. 

The bombardment started at about 3am local time. Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko said explosions occurred in the eastern districts of Dniprovskyi and Desnyanskyi. 

The attack was the 18th on Kyiv in the past 31 days.

Ukraine’s general staff said that Russia launched Iskander short-range missiles. “According to preliminary information, 10 out of 10 missiles have been destroyed by the Ukrainian air force,” it added.

What to watch in Europe today

A bartender in Mortagne-au-Perche, in Normandy, pours a glass of Cointreau
A bartender in Mortagne-au-Perche, in Normandy, pours a glass of Cointreau. French spirits group Rémy Cointreau releases full-year earnings on Thursday © Alastair Miller/Bloomberg

Events: European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde addresses the German Savings Banks Association conference in Hanover with a speech entitled: “Because it’s about more than money”. Finance minister Christian Lindner also speaks at the event. Sweden’s Riksbank releases its annual financial stability report.

Data: The ECB publishes accounts of its May policy meeting. S&P Global issues EU and UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index data. Nationwide’s house price survey is released in the UK.

Earnings: UK online car marketplace Auto Trader and footwear maker Dr Martens provide full-year results, as does Paris-based alcoholic spirits group Rémy Cointreau.

US defence secretary warns China over risks of provocative ‘incidents’

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin called on China to resume bilateral defence talks, warning that incidents could “spiral out of control” if Beijing continued to take provocative actions.

His comment followed Pentagon claims that a Chinese fighter performed an “unnecessarily aggressive manoeuvre” near a US military aircraft last week.

On Thursday, Austin described Beijing’s decision to decline a request for a meeting with China’s defence minister Li Shangfu at a security forum in Singapore this week as “unfortunate”.

“I’m concerned about . . . having an incident that could very, very quickly spiral out of control,” Austin said after a meeting with Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada.

Asia stocks rise after US House votes to raise debt ceiling

Republican representatives Elise Stefanik and Patrick McHenry listen to Speaker Kevin McCarthy
Republican representatives Elise Stefanik and Patrick McHenry listen to Speaker Kevin McCarthy after the debt ceiling bill passed on Wednesday © Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stocks edged higher in Asia and futures markets tipped European shares to rally after the US House of Representatives voted to raise the country’s debt ceiling, boosting the odds of avoiding a historic default.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng stock index rose 0.6 per cent in morning trading, while Japan’s Topix climbed 0.4 per cent and the CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks rose 0.6 per cent.

The gains in Asia-Pacific trading came after the House voted 314-117 late on Wednesday to approve a bill to raise the US debt ceiling. The legislation still has to pass the Senate before it can be signed into law ahead of a June 5 deadline.

South Korea’s exports fall for 8th straight month on weaker chip demand

South Korea’s exports fell for an eighth consecutive month in May due to weaker demand for semiconductors but the pace of decline was less than expected, fuelling hopes for a recovery.

Overseas sales by Asia’s fourth-largest economy slumped 15.2 per cent year on year to $52.24bn last month, according to data released on Thursday, compared with a 16.8 per cent fall forecast by a Reuters survey. South Korea suffered its 15th straight deficit in May, totalling $2.1bn.

Chip exports plunged 36.2 per cent and petroleum product sales dropped 33.2 per cent, while car shipments surged 49.4 per cent. Seoul’s trade minister said the trade balance would improve significantly in June. 

What to watch in Asia today

Residents of Blitar, East Java province, carry the Pancasila symbol of Indonesia’s state ideology
Residents of Blitar, East Java province, carry the Pancasila symbol of Indonesia’s state ideology during a parade © Irfan Anshori/Antara via Reuters

Events: South Korea’s Covid-19 quarantine and testing requirements end, as well as most of its face mask mandates. Indonesian markets are closed to mark Pancasila Day, which celebrates the country’s official philosophical ideology.

Data: China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia publish manufacturing purchasing managers’ index data. Japan also issues first-quarter capital spending figures. Hong Kong announces retail sales for April.

Earnings: Bilibili, the Shanghai-based video-sharing website, issues first-quarter results.

Chewy shares surge after pet retailer posts unexpected profit

Shares of US petcare retailer Chewy surged as much as 13 per cent on Wednesday after it posted a surprise profit and a strong full-year outlook.

The company earned $22.2mn in net income, a 20 per cent year-on-year increase and a shock to analysts, who expected a loss of $10.6mn. Its $2.78bn in sales was a 14 per cent improvement compared with the same quarter last year.

A 0.9 per cent dip in active customers to 20.4mn was more than offset by a nearly 15 per cent increase in sales per active customer.

Chewy, which will begin its international expansion in Canada next quarter, forecast full-year sales between $11.15bn and $11.35bn, within analysts’ estimates for $11.28bn.

Wall Street falls as debt ceiling bill faces first test in Congress

Federal Reserve Board chairman Jerome Powell appears on a screen on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Federal Reserve Board chair Jay Powell appears on a screen on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange © Andrew Kelly/Reuters

US stocks fell on Wednesday as the country’s debt-ceiling bill was due to face its first test in Congress, and investors adjusted bets on the Federal Reserve again raising interest rates in light of strong labour market data and comments from policymakers.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite each closed 0.6 per cent lower.

The moves came after official data again highlighted the resilience of the US labour market, with the number of job vacancies unexpectedly rising in April.

Read more on market moves.

Exxon and Chevron shareholders cut support for climate resolutions

ExxonMobil and Chevron shareholders solidly rejected climate change proposals at the US oil majors’ annual meetings on Wednesday, scaling back support from last year and splitting with results at peers in Europe where resolutions related to global warming have won stronger support.

Only 11 per cent of Exxon shareholders supported a petition calling for the company to set emissions reduction targets that would be consistent with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. A similar proposal at Chevron received less than 10 per cent support.

Read about the contrast with European oil majors.

US to send $300mn in lethal aid to Ukraine ahead of counteroffensive

A Ukrainian army Himars system fires close to the front line in the country’s Kherson region
A Ukrainian army high-mobility artillery rocket system fires close to the front line in the country’s Kherson region © Hannibal Hanschke/EPA-EFE

The US will send $300mn in new lethal aid to Ukraine including air defence, artillery and anti-armour systems as Kyiv has begun preliminary operations ahead of a spring counteroffensive.

The weapons will come from US stockpiles and includes munitions for Patriot air defence systems, Avenger air defence systems, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems and tens of millions of rounds of small arms ammunition, among other munitions and systems.

The US has committed more than $37.6bn in lethal aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded in February 2022.

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Pet News 2Day
Pet News 2Day
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