ACCC warns of carbon tax price gouging: Midday roundup

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has already come across businesses using the imminent introduction of the carbon tax to price gouge consumers.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims told ABC Radio this morning there have been claims electricity prices would increase by extremely large amounts because of the carbon tax.

He said the aim was to encourage people to buy alternative energy based on wrong information

Some businesses such as petrol stations were telling customers fuel prices had gone up because of the carbon tax – even though it doesn’t start until July 1.

JPMorgan Chase posts $2billion loss

JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the US, has lost $US2 billion ($A1.98 billion) in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the bank takes with its own money.

The bank’s stock fell more than 6% in late electronic trading on Thursday after the loss was announced.

Other bank stocks, including Citigroup and Bank of America suffered heavy losses as well.

400 new jobs in Victoria from NBN

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced today that up to 400 new jobs will be created in Victoria from the rollout of the National Broadband Network.

“Through the National Broadband Network, all Australians will access fast affordable broadband, said Senator Conroy.

“The NBN will deliver tremendous economic benefits to Victoria and Australia through increased productivity, greater employment opportunities, and better access to information and services.”

“These benefits will arise across the full range of sectors from health care to education, small business, and the digital economy. “

Conroy was speaking at the opening of a Corning fibre optic cable plant in Clayton and said Corning had agreed to invest more than $40 million in its Clayton operations, boosting levels to between 300 and 400 jobs when the NBN rollout hits its peak.

Sharemarket opens flat

The Australian sharemarket opened little changed following mixed performances on European and US markets overnight, and JPMorgan’s announcement that the company lost $2 billion in a trading portfolio over the past six weeks.

At the official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged higher 0.05% to 4,298.10 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index increased 0.04% to 4,355.6 points.


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