Global mining giant Rio Tinto is on track to
double full-year profits this year to more than US$4 billion (A$5.26
billion), reports The Australian. And it has signalled further capital returns to shareholders at the end
of the year as cash flow soars on the back of still-booming commodity
prices and demand. The message from Rio Tinto was longer and stronger, says Elizabeth Knight in the SMH. These are profit numbers that a couple of years ago no-one could have dreamed our major minerals companies could
achieve. But these are peak-cycle earnings, says the AFR’s Chanticleer – what no-one seems able to predict is just how long the peak will last.

The political fire-storm that engulfed and ultimately doomed Chinese oil
company CNOOC’s bid for Unocal is unlikely to slow Chinese interest in
offshore acquisitions, but Beijing’s bruising lesson in American
politics will make it more selective, reports Tony Walker in The Fin Review.

There were few surprises in the “super switching” study released
by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission earlier
this week, says Stephen Bartholomeusz in The Smage. Many of the financial advisers reviewed gave conflicted
advice on the basis of inadequate research of their clients’

The Age reports that dealers on the infamous National Australia Bank foreign exchange
desk had the tacit endorsement of the bank to manipulate trading
data and were even twice instructed to disguise, or “smooth”
volatility after the sale of NAB’s US assets, a sacked former NAB
manager, Gary Dillon, has claimed in court.

On Wall Street, US stocks were mixed overnight in choppy trading
marked by a retreat in crude oil prices, Adidas-Salomon’s $3.8 billion
acquisition of Reebok and disappointing earnings from media giant Time
Warner. The Dow Jones rose 13.85 points to 10,697 – MarketWatch has a full report here.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey