THE NEWS WRAP: Wall Street shuts down amid Hurricane Sandy

Analysts say the Australian sharemarket will be taken down a notch this week, as Wall Street shuts up shop in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.


Yesterday, US regulators said all markets would close overnight as the storm hurtles towards New York, with high winds and the possibility of a three-metre sea surge.


There’s a chance the markets will remain closed tonight, in what is the first unscheduled closure of the New York Stock Exchange since the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.


Vodafone to slash staff in cost-saving measure


Vodafone Australia is planning a “significant reduction” in the number of office staff it employs in a bid to slash costs and boost its competitiveness.


The company has declined to confirm how many staff will be made redundant. However, reports suggest as many as 500 jobs will go.


Vodafone says it is prioritising its investment towards a more reliable data network and upgraded IT systems, and will “optimise its workforce” by cutting office roles.


Fix electricity price regulation, says Oakeshott 


Independent MP Rob Oakeshott says flawed electricity price regulation has cost consumers $3 billion, calling for new laws to stop the “rort”.


Oakeshott has introduced a private members’ bill which, if passed, will fix the electricity network price appeals process and ensure appeals take account of price impacts.


Oakeshott said the current electricity price regulation process was the greatest market failure in Australia today and had cost the average power consumer about $100 extra each year.




The Australian dollar has fallen due to a partial closedown of US markets and negative sentiment in Europe.


At 7am, the Australian dollar was trading at US103.33 cents, down from 103.58 cents on Monday.


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