Fed budget fails fairness test: ACOSS

The Abbott Government's budget measures will cost Australian families and low income earners $15 billion, a new report shows. By keeping most of its 2014 savings measures and delivering new cuts, the Federal Government will rip the money from basic services and supports over four years, according to a Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) report released on Saturday. The figure includes $…

  • Qld treasurer denies talking down economy AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:39 PM NZST
    Qld treasurer denies talking down economy

    Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt became the latest, after telling parliament on Thursday the state economy had slid into recession in the second half of 2014. Mr Pitt was having a crack at the previous Liberal National Party government, which lost the January election, but his comments have backfired. Business groups and economists say only Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, rather than state treasury data, can be trusted and the opposition accuses Mr Pitt of recklessly talking down the economy.

  • $A higher in quiet trade amid USD weakness AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:28 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar is higher as the US dollar weakened amid speculation about when the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates. The Australian dollar was worth 79.12 US cents at 1700 AEST on Friday, up from 79.00 US cents on Thursday. NAB senior currency strategist Emma Lawson said the local currency gained around a third of a per cent on Friday against the US dollar which was consistent with other currencies such as the New Zealand dollar and euro.

  • Banks weigh on Aust share market AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:08 PM NZST

    The share market has finished flat after weakness among the big four banks offset strong gains among energy stocks. The market had opened higher thanks to strong leads from the US and with stronger oil prices lifting energy stocks. "There seems to be three factors: the banks have just gone ex-dividend, there's been bond market volatility which the banks are quite susceptible to and ongoing capital concerns," he said.

  • Aust bonds firmer in line with Treasuries AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 6:41 PM NZST

    The Australian bond market is firmer as traders take their cues from US Treasuries. Continued weak economic data out of the US has traders speculating that the Federal Reserve could delay lifting the cash ...

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 6:20 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Friday: BHP - BHP BILLITON - up one cent, or 0.03 per cent, to $29.25 FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - down one cent, or 0.47 per cent, to $2.11 ...

  • Aust shares close flat AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 6:17 PM NZST

    The Australian share market has closed flat, with a lacklustre performance from the big banks dragging on the broader market. At the close on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 2.4 points, or 0.04 ...

  • Govt risked jobs with ore inquiry: Shorten AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:41 PM NZST
    Govt risked jobs with ore inquiry: Shorten

    Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten says the government put jobs and investment at risk by toying with the idea of an inquiry into iron ore. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has scrapped the idea after talks with industry stakeholders, despite last week supporting an inquiry into the sharp drop in ore prices and its impact on government revenues. "We've seen the government carry on for a week about a phantom iron ore inquiry ... but nowhere have I seen Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey talk about the jobs of the actual miners who have lost their jobs," Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

  • MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Coats; Nuplex … BusinessDesk - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:36 PM NZST

    ![CDATA[ By Suze Metherell May 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by Coats Group after it said earnings were on track. Nuplex Industries advanced after it flagged it would lift its dividend ...

  • InvoCare withdraws CEO termination package AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:24 PM NZST

    Funeral homes and cemeteries operator InvoCare has withdrawn a proposed termination benefits package for former chief executive Andrew Smith following concerns by some larger shareholders. Mr Smith, who spent more than six years as chief executive of InvoCare, left on April 30 after the company announced in December 2014 that it would not extend his term. Invocare was to have put a termination benefits package for Mr Smith to shareholders for their consideration at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Friday.

  • NZ dollar heads for 1.2% weekly decline as rate cuts … BusinessDesk - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:11 PM NZST

    The New Zealand dollar is heading for a 1.2 percent weekly decline this week as investors weigh up whether measures to reign in the country's housing market will free up the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates. The kiwi fell to 73.82 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 74.72 cents on Friday in New York last week. A BusinessDesk survey of 12 advisers on Monday predicted the kiwi would trade between 72.75 US cents and 76.70 cents this week.

  • NZ wool prices jump to multi-year high at auction, … BusinessDesk - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:09 PM NZST

    New Zealand wool prices jumped to multi-year highs at auction even as the volume on offer rose 78 percent, amid strong demand from exporters. The price for clean 35-micron wool, a benchmark for crossbred wool used for carpets and accounting for the majority of New Zealand's production, rose to $6.20 per kilogram at yesterday's South Island auction, from $5.80/kg in the North Island auction last week, and reaching its highest level since November 2013, according to AgriHQ. Some 9,733 bales of wool were offered for auction yesterday, up from 5,469 bales at last week's auction and 6,346 bales the previous week, as farmers who had been holding out for better prices put their bales on the market.

  • Oroton loses its shine AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 4:35 PM NZST
    Oroton loses its shine

    Shares in Oroton have nosedived after the luxury fashion retailer scrapped its forecast for earnings growth. The company had been expecting earnings in the second half of its fiscal year to be higher than in the same period a year earlier, but third quarter earnings fell by more than $2 million. Oroton now expects its full year earnings will be down 66 per cent on the prior year, due to the weaker than expected second half performance and the impact of a falling Australian dollar.

  • WIN shuts Mildura, Mackay newsrooms AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 4:33 PM NZST

    The WIN television network is shutting local newsrooms in Mildura and Mackay. Newsroom staff have been told they will be redeployed within the network, but the closures are due to problems with commercial viability. The final local bulletins in Mildura and Mackay will air on Friday.

  • Middle class struggle for retirement AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 4:01 PM NZST

    It's no secret that retirement security is eroding for many. "Half of today's working-age households are unlikely to have enough resources to maintain their standard of living once they retire," according to the US' National Retirement Risk Index, compiled by Boston College's Centre for Retirement Research. "It's easy to put it on people, but at the same time, that money is haemorrhaging to the top half per cent," said Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works, a Washington-based group that supports the expansion and protection of Social Security.

  • ABS figures will show QLD recession: Pitt AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 3:05 PM NZST
    ABS figures will show QLD recession: Pitt

    Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt believes upcoming Australian Bureau of Statistics figures will support his claim the state slipped into recession in the second half of 2014. Business groups and the opposition have cast doubt on claims Mr Pitt made in parliament on Thursday that Queensland had dipped into a recession last year.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • What you need to know about the Takata air bag recall Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 8:34 AM NZST
    What you need to know about the Takata air bag recall

    A recall of air bags made by Japanese auto parts supplier Takata Corp. now has the dubious distinction of being the largest in U.S. history. The number of vehicles in the U.S. being recalled because of ...

  • This New Virtual Reality Headset Tracks Your Eye Movements Entrepreneur - Thu, May 21, 2015 7:50 AM NZST
    This New Virtual Reality Headset Tracks Your Eye Movements

    FOVE has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production and manufacturing of its headset.

  • Target beating Wal-Mart in race for turnaround Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 5:58 AM NZST
    Target beating Wal-Mart in race for turnaround

    Target is beating Wal-Mart in the race to beef up sales. Target Corp. on Wednesday reported a nearly 52 percent surge in its first-quarter profit on strong sales of more profitable items like fashion and ...

  • Toyota recalls 181,000 cars AAP - Wed, May 20, 2015 8:13 PM NZST
    Toyota recalls 181,000 cars

    Toyota Australia has ordered the recall of 181,000 cars after an airbag fault linked to five deaths worldwide. The decision is part of a global recall of more than five million Toyotas which have been fitted with airbags from one of the world's biggest air-bag companies, Takata. Toyota Australia says its recall will affect vehicles built between 2003 and 2007 and includes its Yaris, Corolla, Avensis Verso, Echo and Rav4 models.

  • House to consider repeal of meat labeling law Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 7:29 PM NZST
    House to consider repeal of meat labeling law

    A House committee is moving swiftly to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The House Agriculture Committee will consider a bill to repeal ...

  • Takata air bag recall doubles to nearly 34 million Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 2:37 PM NZST
    Takata air bag recall doubles to nearly 34 million

    Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, Takata Corp. has agreed to declare 33.8 million air bags defective, a move that will double the number of cars and trucks included in what is now the largest ...

  • US investigation of 2007 peanut butter recall wraps up Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 2:16 PM NZST
    US investigation of 2007 peanut butter recall wraps up

    ConAgra Foods is likely to face a criminal charge now that the U.S. government has completed its investigation of the company's 2007 peanut butter recall. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in ...

  • Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 8:49 AM NZST
    Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal

    The fate of a $10.1 billion class-action judgment against the nation's largest cigarette maker is in the hands of justices at the Illinois Supreme Court, who heard oral arguments Tuesday in Phillip Morris ...

  • Fried chicken chain KFC resurrects Colonel Sanders for ads Associated Press - Wed, May 20, 2015 7:01 AM NZST
    Fried chicken chain KFC resurrects Colonel Sanders for ads

    KFC is bringing back Colonel Sanders as the fried chicken chain seeks to refresh its image by harkening back to its past. Sanders, who founded KFC, will be played by "Saturday Night Live" alumnus ...

  • Takata air bag recall becomes biggest ever in US CNBC - Wed, May 20, 2015 7:01 AM NZST
    Takata air bag recall becomes biggest ever in US

    The U.S. NHTSA confirmed Tuesday earlier reports that air bag manufacturer Takata plans to declare 33.8 million vehicles defective.