Lynas shares halted over Malaysia drama: Midday roundup

Shares in Lynas have been placed in a trading halt as the company faces a stumbling block regarding its Malaysian operations.

In a statement today, the company requested its shares be halted until a statement is made regarding the matter.

According to media reports, the mining company is facing pressure to export waste material from its Malaysian plant, which would be in line with Malaysian legal guidelines.

Reuters has reported four Malaysian ministers have released a statement saying Lynas should comply, otherwise it will face suspension of its license, and a possible order to cease operating entirely.

Lynas shares will remain in a halt until December 13 or until an announcement is made.

Emerson defends government budget plans

Trade Minister Craig Emerson has defended the Federal Government’s budget forecasts, saying it is not distancing itself from the promise of delivering a budget surplus.

Emerson was responding to an accusation from Opposition frontbencher Simon Birmingham that the minister was “running away as fast as he can” from the commitment.

“I wasn’t running away at all,” Emerson told AAP. “I stand by the figures that have been released officially, which is in the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook.”

“There is a sign of a rebound in consumer confidence, I think the highest in 19 months, that augurs well for future consumption,” he added.

“And there is a pick-up, small at this stage, in house prices and house construction is very labour-intensive and is good for jobs.”

Shares higher after soft American lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning following a soft lead from the United States, with investors still nervous over financial negotiations.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 20 points or 0.5% to 4,578.8 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.8 points or 0.1% to 13,169.9.

 

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