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S&P/ASX 200 Pre Market News

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): 73.78 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.4%

Oil (WTI): $US69.53 per barrel

Gold: $US1,223 per ounce

Australian Investing News

Making finance news, AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) announced a 2018 trading update which detailed its plans to “reset” the business. The financial advice and superannuation company said it will make allowances for up to $290 million (after tax) as compensation for customers who received poor advice going as far back as 2008.

AMP will also lower its fees on the Super of 700,000 of its customers and invest $35 million per year to improve its compliance systems. Excluding the allowance for the compensation and costs with the Royal Commission hearings, AMP expects to report an underlying profit of between $490 million and $500 million for the first half of its 2018 financial year.

“Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to take decisive action to reset AMP and establish a platform from which the business can recover rapidly,” AMP’s acting CEO Mike Wilkins said.

In mining news, BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX: BHP) announced it has entered into agreements for the sale of its stakes in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Permian and Fayetteville Onshore in the United States. The oil and gas assets are being sold to a subsidiary of BP Plc (LON: BP) and Merit Energy for a hefty $US10.5 billion and $US0.3 billion, respectively in cash.

“In August 2017, we confirmed that we would seek to exit our US shale assets for value,” BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie said. “Our priority with this transaction is to maximise value and returns to shareholders.”

Together with the divestment of South32 Ltd (ASX: S32), BHP said it has made more than $US18 billion of divestments in six years.

Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) released its June quarterly production report to investors revealing 17,867 tonnes of copper production with 9,548 ounces of gold. In its 2019 financial year, Sandfire is targeting between 63,000 and 67,000 of copper production and 37,000 to 40,000 ounces of gold production.

 

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