News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: More councils consider stand against fossil fuels; BHP’s credit rating under risk; and gold profits glisten in bright FY15.

Lou Caruana

More councils consider stand against fossil fuels

City of Melbourne, Albury City Council and Mount Alexander Council, in the Victorian goldfields region, will review whether to divest or pull money from institutions, including the big four banks, that fund fossil fuels projects, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Newcastle, home of the world's biggest coal port, became the country's seventh council to shun fossil fuels.

BHP’s credit rating under risk

The plunge in commodity prices is putting BHP Billiton's credit rating at risk, according to Bloomberg.

The cost of insuring the Australian miner's debt against non-payment rose to a three-year high of 108 basis points, a level Deutsche Bank AG says is consistent with a downgrade, after this week's profit report.

While it's the highest-rated non-bank borrower in the iTraxx Australia index, the price of BHP's credit-default swaps exceeds those of nine other non-financial companies in the 25-member gauge.

Gold profits glisten in bright FY15

A falling US-dollar gold price hasn't weighed too heavily on local gold miners, which have been buoyed by a weaker Australian dollar and the success of determined cost-reduction efforts, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

But the acquisition-led growth in the sector has sparked a quiet rivalry between producers vying for attention as investors remain cautious on the short-term outlook for the precious metal.