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

But first, here are the data points:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 73.59 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 0.5%

Oil (WTI): $US69.40 per barrel

Gold: $US1,223 per ounce

Australian Investing News

Making finance news, Wellington-based accounting software provider, Xero Limited (ASX: XRO), announced a strategic alliance with Gusto for US payroll.

In an ASX filing, Xero said it will integrate its platform with Gusto to provide its US customers full-service payroll across 50 states. Xero had been developing its own US payroll systems. By using Gusto Xero will incur a NZ$16.2 million write-down to assets.

“Through the alliance Xero will serve the needs of customers in all 50 States and address one of the greatest pain points for US small businesses – managing payroll with beautifully integrated accounting,” Xero CEO Steve Vamos said.

Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD), the company behind Australia’s most popular airport, released its monthly traffic results for June showing a 5% year-over-year increase in international passengers.

“Sydney’s top five fastest growing inbound passenger groups over the month were Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and USA, all recording double digit growth in visitation compared to June 2017,” CEO Geoff Culbert said. “Overall international passenger growth was driven by the delivery of additional seat capacity.”

Finally, Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) announced that its PNG LNG Project partners have entered into a mid-term LNG sale agreement with PetroChina International for supply from July 2018. Oil Search owns 29% of the project.

“We are delighted to have entered into a SPA with PetroChina, which has been an active buyer of spot LNG cargoes from PNG LNG,” CEO Peter Botten said. “This is the first mid-term sale to be finalised for the supply of up to 1.3 million tonnes per annum (in aggregate) from PNG LNG for a period of up to five years.”

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