$A lower after strong US inflation data

The Australian dollar is lower after the US dollar gained on the back of strong inflations figures. At 0630 AEST on Monday, the local unit was trading at 78.26 US cents, down from 79.12 cents on Friday. ...

  • KiwiSaver providing poor value for money, needs rewrite, … BusinessDesk - 29 minutes ago

    The Treasury recommended a wider review of the KiwiSaver scheme than just axing the $1,000 kick-start payment, arguing it represents poor value for money for the government and has vague aims, according to its regulatory impact statement on the post-budget law change needed to drop the incentive. Reducing incentives would improve the scheme's value for money as wage and salary earners were likely to join anyway because of employer-subsidised schemes and didn't need the kick-start to join, said the Treasury's financial markets manager, James Beard. The RIS shows the $1,000 kick-start payment is by far the less costly part of the two incentives that operate to encourage KiwiSaver membership.

  • NZ dollar falls as greenback strengthens after inflation … BusinessDesk - 38 minutes ago

    The New Zealand fell as the US dollar strengthened following signs of rising US inflation and after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said interest rates were on track to increase this year. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, touched its highest in almost four weeks as investors became more confident that a strengthening US economy would lead to US interest rate hikes this year. While US inflation gained just 0.1 percent in April, a slower pace than the 0.2 percent gain the previous month, the measure of core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, advanced 0.3 percent, the largest increase since January 2013.

  • World Week Ahead: Investors seek new inputs BusinessDesk - 1 hour 21 minutes ago

    As earnings season fades and data continues to disappoint, investors are searching for fresh reasons to extend their equities bets after global markets mostly extended their bull-market rallies last week in lighter than usual volume. On Friday Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen confirmed in a speech that the central bank remains intent on lifting its benchmark interest rate at some point this year. "If the economy continues to improve as I expect, I think it will be appropriate at some point this year to take the initial step to raise the federal funds rate target and begin the process of normalising monetary policy," Yellen said on Friday.

  • MP glad committee won't look at iron ore AAP - 14 hours ago
    MP glad committee won't look at iron ore

    Tony Abbott's parliamentary secretary doesn't think an inquiry into iron ore would have found the truth of what is happening with resources pricing. West Australian Liberal Christian Porter has blasted the work of parliamentary committees, saying he's glad the government won't ask one to look at iron ore prices - as some crossbench senators and Fortescue metals boss Andrew Forrest wanted - because they're "not very good bodies at finding the truth of a situation". "What passes for evidence before parliamentary committees is largely hearsay and certainly just views and opinions layered on each other," Mr Porter told Network Ten on Sunday.

  • Budget set to again face Senate hurdles AAP - 16 hours ago
    Budget set to again face Senate hurdles

    Joe Hockey's second budget may have won an initial round of applause from voters but that does not mean it will get an easy passage through parliament. Heading into a sitting fortnight for the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is urging the Labor Party to "work with us" in backing the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business when budget bills start to be debated.

  • Tas gov to extend first home builder boost AAP - 16 hours ago
    Tas gov to extend first home builder boost

    A $20,000 grant for Tasmanian first home builders will be extended for another six months in Thursday's state budget. Treasurer Peter Gutwein made the commitment on Sunday, saying those building their first homes would be eligible for the $20,000 First Home Builder Boost until the end of the year. The changes will provide a smoother transition for both first home builders and the building sector, Mr Gutwein said.

  • Abbott urges Labor to back budget bills AAP - 17 hours ago
    Abbott urges Labor to back budget bills

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott is urging Labor to support the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business when budget bills are voted on this week. The House of Representatives will meet on Monday when the budget appropriation bills are debated and Mr Abbott wants the opposition to "work with us". "We all know that the Labor government got us into a mess - this is chance for the Labor party to be part of the solution rather than the problem," Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.

  • Fed budget fails fairness test: ACOSS AAP - Sat, May 23, 2015 12:18 PM NZST

    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 $6 billion in cuts to family payments and a $1 billion decrease on health spending.

  • 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.

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  • House panel votes to repeal country-origin meat labeling law Associated Press - Thu, May 21, 2015 8:35 AM NZST
    House panel votes to repeal country-origin meat labeling law

    A House committee has voted to get rid of labels on packages of meat that say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The House Agriculture Committee voted 38-6 to repeal a "country-of-origin" ...

  • 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 ...