Australians are being warned against eating a New Zealand blue cheese found contaminated with listeria.
Australians are being warned against eating a New Zealand blue cheese found contaminated with listeria.
Economists got to read the economy's quarterly report card this week. And the basic message was one that many parents have read - the economy was improving but could do better. Economic growth, although faster than expected in the final quarter of 2013, was still below an unemployment-reducing pace through the year. CommSec chief economist Craig James said there were few countries in the elite club boasting continuous economic growth lasting 22 years.
Reserve Bank boss Glenn Stevens has urged Australia's political leaders to start a "serious conversation" about government debt before it becomes a real problem. The central bank governor's appearance before federal politicians of the House Economics Committee in Sydney on Friday stuck very much to the theme of the RBA's recent statements, and one that will likely see the cash rate held steady for a period. National Australia Bank senior economist David de Garis said that with that decision only a few days old, any about turn by Mr Stevens "would have been a complete surprise". But he did warn Australia faces problems in the future because some initiatives have not been fully funded.
Collins Foods has completed the acquisition of 42 KFC restaurants in Western Australia and the Northern Territory with its purchase of Competitive Foods. The deal, worth $55.6 million when announced last November, takes Collins Foods' national KFC network to 169. KFC brand owner Yum! Restaurants Australia also announced that finalisation of the deal ends a long-running dispute with fast food mogul Jack Cowin, former owner of Competitive Foods. Yum! had been in dispute with Mr Cowin over his ownership of the KFC franchises because of his investment in competitor Domino's Pizza.
The Australian dollar has remained above 90 US cents for an entire local session for the first time in two weeks. A run of positive local economic data has seen the currency rise by almost two per cent this week. AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said economic growth, building approvals and retail spending data, all released this week, were "surprisingly impressive". "Australia is almost starting to look like it's going from gloom to boom," he said.
The sharemarket has ended the week with a slight gain as investors remained unfazed by Russia's incursion into Ukraine and drew comfort from local economic data. It hasn't frightened the market," Lonsec senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said. "The other thing is that the economic data that came out this week were all on the positive side - that has been a positive catalyst for the market." Important overseas economic data is likely to be the next market driver, unless the situation in the Ukraine deteriorates.
The Australian bond market has continued its sell off on the back of easing worries about the situation in the Ukraine and a run of positive local economic data this week. ANZ head of interest rate research Tony Morriss said economic growth, trade and retail sales figures were very impressive and encouraged traders to move out of safe haven assets. "Since that rally we've seen the bond market weaken everyday for the last three days or so."
A High Court judge has refused media requests to see the statement of claim by baby formula company Danone as it seeks compensation from Fonterra following the botulism scare.
SPC Ardmona has seen the future - and it doesn't come in a can. Less than a month after securing its future with a $100 million injection from the Victorian government and parent company Coca Cola-Amatil, the iconic fruit and vegetable company is rebranding, repositioning, rethinking and - so the plan goes - resurrecting with new products aimed at a new market. That market is time-poor, health-conscious and wants convenience, according to SPC Ardmona marketing and innovation director Bronwyn Powell. Big changes are under way at the company's Shepparton, Victoria, cannery even before the $100 million - $22 million from the state government, $78 million from Coca Cola-Amatil - has arrived.
As always, it's what the Reserve Bank of Australia doesn't know that's important for the interest rate outlook. When he fronted a parliamentary committee on Friday, RBA governor Glenn Stevens reiterated the central bank's recent switch to an on-hold stance for interest rates. After its monetary policy meeting in February, and again after the meeting earlier this week, the RBA said "a period of stability" is likely for interest rates.
The Australian share market has closed higher, with energy stocks leading the charge. At the close on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 16.4 points, or 0.3 per cent, higher at 5,462.3, while the ...
Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close on Friday: MCS - MCALEESE - down four cents, or 7.1 per cent, at 52 cents Trucking company Cootes Transport, owned by McAleese, is considering ...
Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has warned Australia faces fiscal problems in the medium term because social programs have not been fully funded. Mr Stevens on Friday told federal politicians of the House Economics Committee that he does not believe the nation has an imminent budget problem. "Our fiscal issue is medium term," he told the committee in the first of his twice-yearly hearings in Sydney. "There are some social programs that we all think are very good, that we are committed to do, and they are not fully funded."
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens has warned home buyers to be wary of taking on too much debt to buy a property, especially in light of a sharp rise in Sydney prices. Current levels of household debt weren't "disastrous", Mr Stevens said on Friday, but an acceleration in credit growth to home buyers would be a concern. "It's pretty high now and we'd surely be asking for trouble if we saw a big step up from where we are," he told a federal parliamentary committee in Sydney. Australian residential property prices have climbed around 9.5 per cent in the past 12 months, and home prices in Sydney have jumped more than 14 per cent, according to research firm RP Data.
The head of the Reserve Bank of Australia is confident unemployment will start to fall this year as the economy improves and becomes less reliant on the mining sector. The unemployment rate hit a 10-year high of six per cent in January, and most forecasters, including the RBA, say it will go higher. RBA governor Glenn Stevens told a parliamentary committee on Friday he expects unemployment to peak later this year. "I'd say the unemployment rate will edge up a little bit further yet before we see it peak some time this year."
When Erica Barrett launched her own food company three years ago after winning a cooking contest, she had no idea she'd someday be selling her gourmet pancake mixes in Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Spring-boarding off the domestic economy's recovery since the Great Recession, small firms like Barrett's 20-employee company, Southern Culture Artisan Foods, have been taking the plunge overseas to take advantage of rising incomes and demand for American foods and other products, experts say. Also, many firms in the US are being helped along the way by an array of federal and state government programs that provide market research, advice, loans, insurance, subsidies to attend international trade shows and other aid. Owners of small businesses "have thought for so long that exports are only for the big businesses.
South Australia's Iron Road could be accused of being brave, or worse, building a $US4.5 billion iron ore mine as the mineral's price falls. For a junior magnetite iron ore miner with a market value of $162 million, to operate in Australia is also like a bull ant taking on an elephant, such is the clout of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals. The iron ore price hit eight-month lows this week, but Iron Road's managing director Andrew Stocks was upbeat about the planned Central Eyre iron project being in production and profitable by 2018. It has been declared a a major development by the South Australian government.
By Suze Metherell March 7 (BusinessDesk) - The NZX 50 Index closed at a new record high, as investors were attracted to the New Zealand story of strong economic optimism and stable growth. Kathmandu Holdings ...
Glenn Stevens thinks the focus on small changes in the cash rate is absurd, but things were a lot more absurd in the old days when the intended level of the cash rate was kept secret. Appearing before a parliamentary committee on Friday, the Reserve Bank of Australia's governor said there is "far too much focus on 25 basis points (a quarter of a percentage point), yes or no, or this month or next month". The RBA's policy approach has changed dramatically since the late 1980s, when it pushed interest rates so high it helped tip the economy into a catastrophic recession. Perhaps the most important change was made in January 1990 when, for the first time, the RBA actually announced it had changed its target for the cash rate.
Fonterra anticipates bigger growth in milk supply this season with dry conditions not as bad as last year's drought and the incentive of a higher forecast farmgate pay-out. New Zealand milk volumes are forecast to rise 7.5 per cent to 1.57 million kilograms of milk solids in the 2013/14 season, up from a previous expectation of 6.4 per cent growth, Fonterra says. Based on the forecast payout to farmers of $NZ8.65 per kgMS, that implies Fonterra will pay some $NZ13.61 billion ($A12.83 billion) to source local milk in the season. Fonterra's New Zealand-sourced milk costs were $NZ8.64b in the year ended July 31, 2013, when it paid $NZ5.84 per kgMS to farmers.
There's been a strong lift in wholesale sales figures over the December quarter, supporting market expectations of a respectable lift in GDP when that figure's announced on March 20.
HSBC bank is predicting the OCR will set to rise by 25 points to 2.75 per cent next week.
The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 1 percent weekly gain amid revived investor appetite for high-yielding, or riskier, assets as the Ukraine tensions eased, and ahead of US jobs figures which will likely be hit by the harsh winter conditions. Eleven traders and strategists surveyed by BusinessDesk on Monday predicted the local currency would trade between 81.80 US cents and 85 cents this week. Five expected the local currency to fall, three picked it to advance while three said it would likely be little changed. The local currency rallied this week as tensions between Russia and Western democracies eased after Russian President Vladimir Putin backed off threats to immediately annex the Crimean Peninsula.
One of the newest companies on the New Zealand stock exchange, Air Works Holdings Limited, has posted a half year profit of $4.6 million.
The ASB bank says it's almost certain the OCR will rise by 25 base points by March 13 as the country's economic outlook continues to improve.
The Warehouse has raised $100 million.
Sri Lanka is destroying about 130 tonnes of Fonterra Milk Powder.
A French restaurant in Los Angeles and a chain of casual eateries in Florida have stirred yet another tempest in the Affordable Care Act teapot by adding health care surcharges to customers' bills. Proprietors of both restaurants have levied one to three per cent fees to ready themselves for new health care costs on the horizon. By January 2016, small businesses with 50 to 99 employees will have to cover 95 per cent of their full-time employees with health insurance or pay a fine, under the Affordable Care Act. Republique in Los Angeles has added a thee per cent fee it calls "Surcharge Healthy LA".
Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter, anticipates bigger growth in milk supply this season with dry conditions not as bad as last year's drought, and the incentive of a higher forecast farmgate pay-out. New Zealand milk volumes are forecast to rise 7.5 percent to 1.57 million kilograms of milk solids in the 2013/14 season, up from a previous expectation of 6.4 percent growth, Fonterra said in a statement. Based on the forecast payout to farmers of $8.65 per kgMS, that implies Fonterra will pay some $13.61 billion to source local milk in the season. Fonterra's New Zealand-sourced milk costs were $8.64 billion in the year ended July 31, 2013, when it paid $5.84 per kgMS to farmers.
Investors can take advantage of a lower Australian dollar if they recognise what types of companies benefit from a falling exchange rate, an analyst says. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been talking the Australian dollar lower, even after its fall in the second half of 2013 to around 90 US cents. The RBA said earlier this week that the decline in the exchange rate to date would help boost the economy, but the exchange rate remained high by historical standards. Lincoln Indicators equities analyst James Samson says investors can boost their potential gains by knowing the two types of companies that can offer currency leverage.
The Australian dollar continues to perform strongly ahead of widely anticipated weak US jobs data. The Aussie dollar reached an intraday high of 91.11 cents during early morning trade before shedding some gains shortly after Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens' address to a federal parliamentary committee in Sydney on Friday morning. Mr Stevens' comment about the local currency being too high if its in the 90s or more than a dollar caused some selling, IG chief market strategist Chris Weston said. "The Aussie dollar can go higher and it won't be surprising if it pushes towards 92 cents based on the payroll data, before it starts to decline again next week."
The Australian share market is slightly higher, led by resources stocks on a quiet trading day. Only $1.2 billion worth of shares had been traded by midday AEDT, compared to usual average volumes of $2-$2.5 ...
Westpac chief financial officer Phil Coffey has been promoted to the role of chief executive Gail Kelly's deputy. In the newly created position, Mr Coffey will work directly with Mrs Kelly on "critical strategic issues", Westpac said on Friday, including overseeing the bank's contribution to the federal government's inquiry into the financial system. Mr Coffey has been an executive at Westpac for 12 years, including eight as chief financial officer.
Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Friday: BHP - BHP BILLITON - down 7.00 cents, or 0.19 per cent, at $37.59 BHP launches it Five Rivers Conservation Project QAN - QANTAS AIRWAYS ...
Flush with cash and high stock prices, companies are buying up the competition at levels not seen since the dotcom bubble. In the past month, Comcast has offered to buy Time Warner Cable for $US45 billion ($A50.23 billion). Pharmaceutical giant Actavis is buying Forest Laboratories for $US25 billion. And Facebook shocked the technology world by offering $US19 billion for tiny WhatsApp.