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THE NEWS WRAP: Apple boss Steve Jobs takes medical leave

By James Thomson
Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Apple supremo Steve Jobs has announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence, casting doubt over his future at the company.


Jobs, who overcame pancreatic cancer in 2004, told staff in an email that he was stepping aside so that "I can focus on my health."


The announcement was made during a non-trading day on the US market, but the shares fell 9% in trade on European markets overnight. His temporary 2004 departure caused a 10% dip in Apple's share price.


Floods are "largest natural disaster ever": Swan


Wayne Swan, the federal treasurer, has said that the Queensland floods are set to be "the largest natural disaster in our history" in economic terms.


Swan said that Australia was still "on track" to return to budget surplus by 2013, but admitted that the floods will have an impact upon Australians' cost of living.


Insurance premiums under pressure


Meanwhile, insurance premiums for many businesses could rise in the wake of the floods. Some of the world's largest re-insurers are set to review their risk assessment of Australia following the disaster.


Analysts predict that Australia could be hit by an additional risk premium by re-insurers, placing a significant extra cost on businesses.




The Australian dollar continued its recent downward trend, falling from 99.08 US cents to 98.72 US cents.


The US market was closed.

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