$A lower ahead of RBA board meeting

The Australian dollar is lower as the market cautiously awaits the Reserve Bank interest rate decision on Tuesday. Last month, the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2.25 per cent, saying economic growth was going to be slower than expected and the unemployment rate was going to peak at a higher level. Forex.com research analyst Chris Tedder said the release of weak business i…

  • Miners lead shares toward a milestone AAP - 38 minutes ago

    A surprise cut to interest rates in China has triggered a rally among mining stocks, pushing the Australian share market higher. The miners led the gains after the People's Bank of China cut interest rates at the weekend in an effort to rekindle the nation's cooling property market, CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said. Expectations that the Reserve Bank may also cut the cash rate on Tuesday also buoyed investors, he added. "A rosier picture for China is good news for Australia," he said.

  • Quickflix suffers another big loss AAP - 59 minutes ago

    As Australia's nascent online video streaming sector finally comes to life, the company that pioneered the local industry has suffered a massive first half loss. Quickflix posted an $8.6 million loss for the six months to December 31, more than double the size of its loss a year ago and almost two and a half times the company's entire current market value. The dismal result comes as the company faces an onslaught of competition from media heavyweights Netflix, Foxtel, Seven West Media, Fairfax and Nine. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Monday gave the all clear for Channel Seven owner Seven West to take a 50 per cent stake in Foxtel's Presto TV streaming service.

  • Warrnambool buys leading cheese brands AAP - 59 minutes ago
    Warrnambool buys leading cheese brands

    One of Australia's best known cheese brands, COON, is about to change from Japanese to Canadian ownership. Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which is majority-owned by Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc, is set to acquire the everyday cheese business of Lion Dairy and Drinks for $137.5 million. The everyday cheese business includes the cutting and wrapping, distribution, and sales and marketing of the COON, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands. COON cheddar cheese has been manufactured in Australia since 1935 and was originally made by Kraft.

  • Myer shares tumble on change of CEO AAP - 1 hour 4 minutes ago
    Myer shares tumble on change of CEO

    Myer shares have tumbled after the dual resignations of its chief executive and chief financial officer triggered fears the department store giant will deliver a horror half year earnings result. Bernie Brookes is leaving Myer after nine years at the helm of the struggling retailer, with supply chain boss and former supermarket executive Richard Umbers parachuted in as his replacement. Mr Brookes' exit coincides with that of chief financial officer Mark Ashby, who will leave in May for a job overseas. News of their departures rattled investors, who pushed Myer's shares down 20 cents, or 10.8 per cent, to $1.655.

  • Troubled educator says it will survive AAP - 1 hour 12 minutes ago

    Troubled education provider Vocation insists it can remain a viable business and lift earnings over the next few months after suffering a $273 million half year loss. Aspin has already been deregistered and BAWM is in the process of being deregistered in the wake of a damning rebuke by the Victorian government over the quality of the businesses, which led to the withdrawal of $20 million in funding.

  • Warrnambool to buy Lion everyday cheese AAP - 1 hour 20 minutes ago
    Warrnambool to buy Lion everyday cheese

    One of Australia's best known cheese brands, COON, is about to change from Japanese to Canadian ownership. Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which is majority-owned by Canadian dairy giant Saputo Inc, is set to acquire the everyday cheese business of Lion Dairy and Drinks for $137.5 million. The everyday cheese business includes the cutting and wrapping, distribution, and sales and marketing of the COON, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands. COON cheddar cheese has been manufactured in Australia since 1935 and was originally made by Kraft.

  • Bonds slightly weaker before RBA decision AAP - 1 hour 22 minutes ago

    The Australian bond market has been trading in a tight range as the market awaits the Reserve Bank interest rate decision on Tuesday. Last month, the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2.25 per cent, saying economic growth was going to be slower than expected and the unemployment rate was going to peak at a higher level. UBS interest rate strategist Andrew Lilley said the trading range on Monday for three-year bonds has been the tightest he's seen in a while and trading volumes are also down.

  • Govt seeks report on gas prices AAP - 1 hour 25 minutes ago
    Govt seeks report on gas prices

    The federal government has asked for an independent report on gas prices. Since 2010 the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has reported annually on residential electricity price trends. Business, industry and households are feeling the effect of rising wholesale gas prices resulting from the tight eastern gas market and limited supply competition. The complex web of deregulated markets in most states and territories and wholesale gas contracts has made it difficult to work out what is driving residential and industrial prices.

  • Miners lead Aussie shares higher AAP - 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    A surprise cut to interest rates in China has triggered a strong rally among mining stocks, pushing the Australian share market higher. The share market edged slowly towards the key 6,000 level on Monday. The miners led the gains after the People's Bank of China's cut interest rates at the weekend to rekindle the world's most populous nation's cooling property market, CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said. Expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday may also cut the official rate have buoyed investors, he added.

  • Govt trashing charter of honesty: Bowen AAP - 1 hour 46 minutes ago
    Govt trashing charter of honesty: Bowen

    Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has accused the Abbott government of turning a report into a how the budget will look in 40 years' time into a political plaything. Treasurer Joe Hockey releases the intergenerational report on Thursday. Unusually, the report will include where the budget would have been under Labor policies. "It should be an important document which informs public debate ... not a cheap political prop for Joe Hockey," Mr Bowen told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

  • Myer shares fall as CEO steps down AAP - 1 hour 50 minutes ago
    Myer shares fall as CEO steps down

    Shares in Myer have fallen sharply following the resignation of the department store giant's chief executive Bernie Brookes. The company announced on Monday morning that Mr Brookes has stepped down and will be replaced by the retailer's supply chain chief, Richard Umbers. Myer's share price dropped 9.57 per cent, or 17.75 cents to $1.68 at 1015 AEDT. Chairman Paul McClintock on Monday said Mr Umbers will oversee "a significant program of change" for Myer, indicating the departures mark the start of a change in direction for the retailer.

  • Stocks to watch at close on Monday AAP - 1 hour 58 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close on Monday: AZJ - AURIZON - down four cents, or 0.85 per cent, at $4.69 Rail operator Aurizon is warning it faces a $30 million hit to its bottom ...

  • Falling profits add to case for rate cut AAP - 1 hour 59 minutes ago
    Falling profits add to case for rate cut

    Company profits fell almost six per cent in 2014, a sign the economy is struggling and more interest rate cuts are likely. JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy said the figures definitely add to the case for another interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank.

  • Aust shares close higher AAP - 2 hours 5 minutes ago

    The Australian share market has closed higher after a cut to China's interest rates and ahead of a rate decision by Australia's Reserve Bank. At the close on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 30.1 points, or 0.51 per cent, higher at 5,958.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 27.8 points, or 0.47 per cent, at 5,926.3, according to preliminary figures.

  • House price rise eases, but not in Sydney AAP - 2 hours 14 minutes ago

    Home price growth is expected to ease from its recent blistering pace, but not in Sydney. Sydney is still the strongest market, with prices up 13.7 per cent in the 12 months to February, almost double the pace of the next best market in Melbourne, and up on a 12.4 per cent rise in 2014. The median house price in Sydney has now passed three quarters of a million dollars, and a flat will set you back over half a million. The good news for potential buyers elsewhere is that national price growth is easing.

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    Study: Smokers may tap into multiple sources for nicotine

    The first peek at a major study of how Americans smoke suggests many use combinations of products, and often e-cigarettes are part of the mix. It's a preliminary finding, but it highlights some key questions ...

  • $150K dress worn by Lupita Nyong'o at Oscars reported stolen Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 4:57 PM NZDT
    $150K dress worn by Lupita Nyong'o at Oscars reported stolen

    The theft of a $150,000 pearl-covered gown worn by Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars doesn't surprise Hollywood stylists who have personally experienced the seedy side of red carpet fashion. Style expert and ...

  • Tenn. GOP leader questions incentives for unionized GM plant Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 1:30 PM NZDT
    Tenn. GOP leader questions incentives for unionized GM plant

    State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that it may have been "a mistake" for Tennessee to subsidize the development of the General Motors plant outside Nashville because it has a United ...

  • IOC relaxes rule on athletes and sponsors during Olympics Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 12:53 PM NZDT
    IOC relaxes rule on athletes and sponsors during Olympics

    The IOC is relaxing a rule that prohibited athletes from promoting non-official sponsors during the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee executive board agreed on Thursday to modify a provision ...

  • AP Exclusive: Wal-Mart CEO talks workers, customers, critics Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 12:08 PM NZDT
    AP Exclusive: Wal-Mart CEO talks workers, customers, critics

    When Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon took the top job at the world's largest retailer last year, he inherited some big problems. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries, has ...

  • Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 8:24 AM NZDT
    Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look

    The curvy Coca-Cola bottle is celebrating its 100th birthday, and an art museum is exploring the origins and influence of a bottle design that's so recognizable, you'd know the brand if you held it in ...

  • Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 7:53 AM NZDT
    Fruits and vegetables get a star-studded marketing push

    What if cauliflower got the same type of marketing firepower as candy bars and potato chips? A campaign being launched Thursday plans to put that premise to the test by enlisting celebrities including ...

  • Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:17 AM NZDT
    Psychology on order: How restaurants get you to spend more

    You may think you're immune to transparent sales pitches like "Do you want fries with that?" But the tactics restaurants use to nudge you into spending a little extra may be subtler than you ...

  • Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what's in food Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 6:00 AM NZDT
    Ag secretary: Smartphones could tell buyers what's in food

    In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offers this idea: Use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that consumers ...

  • Vilsack: Smartphones could tell consumers what's in food Associated Press - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 2:29 AM NZDT
    Vilsack: Smartphones could tell consumers what's in food

    In the ever-complicated debate over labeling of genetically modified foods, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he has an idea: use your smartphone. Vilsack told members of Congress on Wednesday that ...