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Live news: US Senate proposes deal on government funding

Live news: US Senate proposes deal on government funding

Australia’s inflation rate accelerates on higher food and petrol prices

Jars of Vegemite spread sit on a shelf at a grocery store in Melbourne
Australia’s inflation rate accelerated as food and petrol costs escalated, the official statistics agency said on Wednesday © Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Australia’s inflation rate accelerated in the 12 months to August as food and petrol costs escalated, according to official data released on Wednesday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the consumer price index rose to 5.2 per cent from 4.9 per cent in July. Annual inflation remains below December 2022’s peak of 8.4 per cent, ABS noted.

Robert Carnell, Asia-Pacific research head at ING, said a “combination of base effects wearing off, and higher gasoline and food prices” was responsible for the rise after a “surprising decline” in July from 5.4 per cent in June.

What to watch in Asia today

Capital markets: Dubai Financial Market, a United Arab Emirates stock exchange, hosts its third international investor roadshow of the year in Singapore. “We are increasingly seeing strong appetite from global investors who want to access the growing capital markets taking place in Dubai,” said DFM and Nasdaq Dubai chief executive Hamed Ali. “That is why we have decided to host our third roadshow this year in Singapore.” DFM presented to investors in New York in January and London in June.

Events: Howard Lee, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, is a keynote speaker at ABS Asia, the structured product finance conference, which makes its post-Covid return to the JW Marriott in Hong Kong. The two-day Fintech Festival opens at Siam Paragon in Bangkok. The Bank of Japan releases minutes of its July monetary policy meeting.

Economic data: Australia issues August inflation figures, while Chinese industrial profits and Japanese machine tool orders are released for the same month.

US Senate proposes government funding deal ahead of deadline

US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York speaks to the media on Capitol Hill.
US Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York speaks to the media on Capitol Hill. He said the deal would keep the government funded until mid-November © Mariam Zuhaib/AP

US Senate leaders have struck a deal to continue funding the federal government and avert a shutdown ahead of a looming deadline this weekend, but the compromise measure faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, announced the deal late Tuesday. The “temporary solution” would keep the government funded until mid-November and provide billions of dollars to support the Ukraine war effort and disaster relief for parts of the US ravaged by wildfires and floods.

Democrats, who control the Senate by a razor-thin margin, are expected to approve the agreement in the coming days.

Costco says retail theft not a ‘major issue’ after better than expected results

Retail theft is not a “major issue” at Costco, the company said on Tuesday after it beat Wall Street’s expectations for earnings.

Richard Galanti, the company’s chief financial officer, told analysts that shrink — an industry term that covers shoplifting, employee theft, organised retail crime and process mistakes — has increased by a few percentage points year-over-year, likely owing to greater use of self-checkout technology. He said theft levels were already low.

The comments come as Target on Tuesday announced the closure of nine stores due to high levels of “theft and organised retail crime.”

Costco earned $4.86 a share in its fourth quarter and $78.9bn in revenue, an 8.6 per cent increase year-over-year.

Donald Trump committed fraud by inflating real estate value, New York judge rules

Donald Trump, centre, greets attendees at a 2022 event at the Mar-a-Lago Club
Donald Trump, centre, greets attendees at a 2022 event at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, a property that a New York judge said had a vastly inflated valuation © Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg

Donald Trump, his oldest sons, and his business organisation are liable for vastly inflating the value of properties in Manhattan and Mar-a-Lago, as well as golf courses in the US and Scotland, a New York judge ruled on Tuesday.

Judge Arthur Engoron said on Tuesday the former president and his associates had engaged in activity that “can only be considered fraud”, and issued sanctions against Trump’s lawyers. He said a jury would determine penalties.

The order was handed down days before a case brought by the New York attorney-general is due to go to trial.

Read more about Trump’s real estate here.

US stocks sink over prospect of extended higher interest rates

Global equities sold off on Tuesday as investors braced for a prolonged period of high interest rates, while the dollar jumped to a 10-month high and Treasuries sold off.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 closed 1.5 per cent lower, while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.6 per cent, both hitting their lowest levels since early June.

The latest decline for stocks comes as investors have raised their expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer. While traders are mixed on whether the US central bank will raise interest rates by an additional quarter-point in this policy tightening cycle, bets on rate cuts in the coming year have dropped.

Read more on markets moves here.

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