Up to 630 jobs to go as Caltex refinery is shut down: Midday roundup

Petroleum company Caltex will close its Kurnell refinery in Sydney in a move that will cost up to 630 jobs.

Caltex said the refinery would be closed in the second half of 2014 to be converted to a “major import terminal” to supply imported fuel for Australian customers.

The closure will eliminate about 330 direct positions, and as many as 300 contracting jobs.

Coles sales rise 6.1%

Wesfarmers has announced Coles reported a 6.1% rise in sales for the 12 months to June 30, reaching $33.69 billion.

Much of the increase was pushed by an 11.5% increase in sales of convenience items, which were up to $7.516 billion. Food and liquor sales rose 4.6% to $26 billion, while total home improvement and office sales also jumped 4.7% to $8.63 billion.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said the retail business continues to perform well.

“The retail businesses also remain committed to investing in, and growing, each of their store networks and further strengthening supplier relationships to provide a sustainable platform for future growth,” he said.

“We have been particularly pleased with the continued strong volume growth.”

“This confirms that our determined efforts to provide better quality, service and value are being welcomed by Australian consumers during a period of sustained pressure on household budgets.”

No buyers for CMI so 119 workers to go

The receivers of troubled car parts maker CMI Industrial have failed to find buyers for two of the company’s three Victorian plants, putting 119 workers out of a job by the end of the year.

Ford says its production won’t be affected as it was in April when CMI temporarily stopped production.

CMI was placed in liquidation in May but the hope was to find a buyer for the car part market.

Shares higher after small but positive Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has risen slightly this morning after a positive lead from Wall Street, where early gains were erased by disappointing home sales data.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 15 points or 0.4% to 4139 at 11.50 AEST, while the dollar was up slightly to $US1.03.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 58 points or 0.5%.

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