David Jones placed in trading halt: Midday Roundup

Department store giant David Jones has been placed in a trading halt ahead of an announcement from the company about its strategy.

 

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, David Jones said media speculation about the company has caused a strategic planning meeting to be called.

First-half financial results are due on Wednesday, and the company is also expected to reveal some new plans.

“While the company does not believe that there has been any leak of confidential information by the company and that the speculation is based on publicly available information, the company considers a trading halt to be appropriate in the circumstances,” it said in a statement.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the company is preparing to announce a new deal with Amex that will cut earnings.

Greens set to pass mining tax laws despite protests

Greens leader Bob Brown has said the party will back the mining tax legislation in the Senate despite saying they fall “way short of the mark”.

“There are some really important amendments to this tax which would make it better for all concerned if the opposition were to join the Greens in supporting those amendments,” Brown told reporters in Canberra this morning.

“A primary one is the pretty daft part of this legislation which says that the Commonwealth will refund increases in state royalties to the mining companies involved.”

However, Gillard has said the Government will reject the Greens’ amendments, according to AAP.

The Greens want the tax extended to gold and uranium.

“The Federal Government says it won’t support anything (in the Greens amendments),” he said. “They are creating their own black holes when it comes to funding disability, education, the need for further public infrastructure like high-speed rail.

Shares higher after weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has risen higher this morning after a flat start from offshore markets late last week, with oil prices boosting demand for local shares.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 28.8 points or 0.7% to 4305 at 12.00 AEST, while the Australian dollar rose to $US1.05c.

Apple to make announcement on plans for cash

Tech giant Apple is set to make an announcement tomorrow on what it expects to do with the $US100 billion cash in its reserves.

The company has drawn criticism from shareholders and analysts for hanging onto the cash, which they say could be used for better use.

Chief executive Tim Cook said in a statement a conference call will be held at midnight, AEST, “to announce the outcome of the company’s discussions concern its cash balance”.

Many analysts predict Apple will announce a dividend, or an acquisition.

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