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S&P/ASX 200 Tipped To Open Higher

The Australian share market or S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) index is tipped to higher Friday morning, according to the Sydney Futures Exchange.

Here’s what you need to know:

SFE ASX 200 futures: +12

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 77.99 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.5%

Oil (WTI): $US61.19 per barrel

Gold: $US1,316 per ounce

Overnight, London-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) closed down 0.5% and up 0.5%, respectively.

Australian Investing News

Making news in Australia and in the ASX 200, shares of Australia’s major banks will be in focus following the second round of hearings from the Royal Commission into the banks.

So far, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) have found themselves in the crosshairs of the Commission and financial media. NAB was found to have failed to adhere to its own lending standards when it offered around 15% of its home loans. Meanwhile, CBA acknowledged that customers who use a broker tend to pay more on loans due to the commissions payable to the broker.

Also making news today, Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) announced that it plans to demerge Coles, its leading supermarkets business, subject to shareholder vote. After a review, Wesfarmers found that separating Coles would, “support higher levels of future growth and total shareholder returns.”

“Wesfarmers acquired Coles as part of Coles Group in 2007 and since then has successfully turned around the business and restored its position as a leading Australian retailer,” CEO Rob Scott said. “It is now a mature and cash generative business, which is expected to have a strong balance sheet and dividend paying capacity.” Wesfarmers will retain a 20% holding in Coles. Click here for more details.

Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV), the owner of Smiggle, Peter Alexander and more, today filed its half-year financial report with the ASX showing a 7% increase in revenue, 9% rise in profit and a dividend of 29 cents per share, fully franked.

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