Here are the headlines from the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) and Australian finance circles on Thursday morning.

But first, here’s the need-to-know data points:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 73.84 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.5%

Oil (WTI): $US74.14 per barrel

Gold: $US1,253 per ounce

Australian Investing News

Making news in Australia, Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) announced a new 15-year wholesale fuel arrangement with Caltex Australia Limited (ASX: CTX). Up to 250 sites will be branded under the Metro banner and another 125 Caltex sites will join the Woolworths petrol station network, receiving the 4 cents per litre discount offers. Woolies will continue to pursue its IPO of the Petrol business.

“While we were disappointed with the termination of the BP agreement, we believe the customer benefits of our alliance with Caltex, combined with a new fuel supply agreement will allow us to deliver a compelling outcome for both our customers and our shareholders,” Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said.

Caltex CEO Julian Segal said, “The alliance with Woolworths will allow Caltex to provide a very competitive convenience retail offering to its customers, along with an expanded redemption and new loyalty offering.”

Also making headlines, a2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) has announced that Jayne Hrdlicka will take the reigns as Managing Director and CEO of the company within the month. Ms Hrdlicka was the CEO of Jetstar Group and a non-executive director at Woolworths. As CEO she will be paid a fixed salary of $1.5 million and be eligible for a short-term bonus of $1.5 million and long-term incentives of more than $2 million. She will also receive a cash bonus to join a2 Milk.

Finally, Perth-based Cedar Woods (ASX: CWP) announced that its 2018 financial year profit will be around $40 million and strong pre-sales could produce strong earnings growth in 2019. “The level of sales and the progress we’re making across our portfolio is particularly pleasing and provides a strong platform for FY19 and FY20,” Managing Director Nathan Blackburne said.

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