$A weaker ahead of RBA Governor speech

The Australian dollar is slightly lower as the US dollar strengthened on Monday afternoon. Traders are now waiting for a speech from Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens on Tuesday. The Australian dollar was worth 78.06 US cents at 1710 AEST on Monday, down from 78.10 US cents on Friday. Commonwealth Bank chief currency strategist Richard Grace said US dollar strength late on Monday…

  • Bonds firm on weak US economic data AAP - 5 hours ago

    Australian bond prices are firmer after the release of weak US economic figures and a lack of local data. Traders are also waiting for a speech from the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens ...

  • ASX bringing in stricter guidance rules AAP - 6 hours ago

    Australia's share market operator is planning to enforce stricter rules on company earnings forecasts despite objections from an investor relations group. From July 1, companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange will be required to explain themselves if their guidance surprises investors during earnings season. Mining giant BHP Billiton and the Australian Institute of Company Directors are backing the proposal, which is designed to stop listed companies from manipulating or reacting to analyst forecasts with predictions that turn out to be inaccurate. "They are designed to improve disclosure and provide greater clarity for listed companies on issues relating to analyst briefings and forecasts, consensus estimates and earnings surprises," he said.

  • BHP unpaid tax bill may exceed $522m AAP - 6 hours ago
    BHP unpaid tax bill may exceed $522m

    BHP Billiton has been hit with a $522 million tax bill that could rise well beyond that over the use of its Singapore office to shift profits. The mining giant, Australia's largest taxpayer and company by market value, has vowed to contest the Tax Office's bill even though investigations into the alleged use of BHP's Singapore marketing hub are continuing. The Tax Office has completed a look at the early years of the hub's operations but is still auditing BHP's profits over the past six years, which included record earnings between 2011 and 2013 as the iron ore price soared. The bill so far includes $221 million in interest and penalties for tax avoidance.

  • Big miners push ASX to two-week high AAP - 6 hours ago

    A recovery in iron ore prices has propelled the big miners, pushing the Australian share market to a two-week high. Mining giant BHP Billiton share prices rose to levels last seen in early March, with ...

  • Big miners push ASX to one-week high AAP - 6 hours ago

    A recovery in iron ore prices has propelled the big miners, pushing the Australian share market to a two-week high. Mining giant BHP Billiton share prices rose to levels last seen in early March, with ...

  • Broader explanation needed beyond budget AAP - 6 hours ago

    Joe Hockey has some explaining to do. "Unless we can get the Australian community to really understand what's coming and how that affects them, it makes these conversations at a budget level really, really tough," he told reporters at a pre-budget lunch in Canberra on Monday.

  • Home affordability in Sydney tightens up AAP - 6 hours ago
    Home affordability in Sydney tightens up

    Risks of mortgage defaults in Sydney and Melbourne are growing as soaring house prices are matched with bigger loans and deteriorating affordability, ratings agency Moody's warns. Housing affordability has eroded in Australia's two biggest cities during the past year, as house prices rose sharply while wages remained flat. Sydneysiders living in two-income households are spending 35.1 per cent - or more than a third of their income - on mortgage repayments, while Melbourne households are spending 28.2 per cent, Moody's Housing Affordability Measure found. Sydney households with only one income earner would be spending more than 70 per cent to pay the mortgage, which is not sustainable, Moody's says.

  • TPG and M2 battle for iiNet AAP - 7 hours ago
    TPG and M2 battle for iiNet

    An expensive battle for second place is underway in Australia's booming telecommunications sector, with Dodo owner M2 Group attempting to scuttle TPG Telecom's planned takeover of iiNet. M2 has put forward a $1.6 billion takeover offer for iiNet, beating the $1.4 billion offer from TPG that iiNet's board of directors had previously urged shareholders to accept. "Optus is currently the second biggest player and I expect would be immediately running the numbers on whether a bid for iiNet could work," Rivkin local investment director Shannon Rivkin said. The new bid would be welcome news to iiNet founder Michael Malone, who in March called for the company's board of directors to be sacked for recommending the TPG deal, which he said undervalued the company.

  • Caltex margins soar on low oil price AAP - 7 hours ago
    Caltex margins soar on low oil price

    Low oil prices were good news for Caltex's refining business in March when margins more than tripled. The refining business's importance to Caltex in relation to distributing and retailing was significantly reduced with the closure of its Sydney refinery in 2014. Caltex's refiner margins - the difference between the cost of importing crude oil to make fuel products itself and the cost of importing its fuel products from Asia - jumped from a $5.31 a barrel in February to $20.66 in March. A lower oil price does not necessarily translate to lower prices for fuel, which can depend on separate market demand and supply forces.

  • Stocks to watch at close on Monday AAP - 7 hours ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Monday: AGO - ATLAS IRON - in trading halt, last traded at 12 cents MCS - MCALEESE - in trading halt, last traded at 16 cents Haulage contractor ...

  • Aust shares close higher AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian share market has closed higher, edging towards the 6,000-point level, not seen since early 2008. At the close on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 49.4 points, or 0.83 per cent, ...

  • Gen Y hiding credit card spend: survey AAP - 7 hours ago
    Gen Y hiding credit card spend: survey

    Young Aussies are most likely to hide credit card spending and get into arguments about how much they buy on credit, a survey has found. The poll of 1,200 consumers by Creditcardfinder.com.au found a quarter of those aged 18-34 admitted making secret purchases on their credit cards. "Generation Y was the most untrustworthy group when it came to their credit card spending, as they were more likely to have a secret credit card or hide purchases than other age groups," the survey found. Overall, 17 per cent of all women surveyed admitted hiding credit card spending from their partner, compared with 14 per cent of men.

  • NT may see power prices drop by Christmas AAP - 7 hours ago

    Northern Territorians could see a reduction in their power bills by Christmas, the Treasurer says. Dave Tollner said the NT's power industry is now more transparent, accountable and efficient since sweeping reforms were put in place during the past two years. "The goal was always to get Power Water Corporation onto a sustainable footing. "Unfortunately it had to be put on life support for a time, and unfortunately tariffs had to increase to keep it operating, but since being in government, since putting in place these reforms, we've seen more transparency, much more accountability by those organisations and we're seeing a greater level of reliability," Mr Tollner told reporters.

  • PanAust asks shareholders to bin $1.1b bid AAP - 8 hours ago

    Gold and copper miner PanAust has urged shareholders to reject an "opportunistic" $1.1 billion takeover offer from a Chinese-state owned company. Accounting giant Ernst & Young says Guandong Rising Asset Management's (GRAM) $1.71-a-share offer for PanAust is "neither fair nor reasonable" and has assessed the company to be worth between $1.84 and $2.04 a share. PanAust chairman Garry Hounsell said GRAM's offer was opportunistic as it was announced at a time when both the PanAust share price and spot prices for copper and gold were trading at near five year lows. "After careful review of the GRAM offer, including engagement of an independent expert, the independent directors are of the unanimous view that the offer is inadequate and GRAM should pay more to acquire increased ownership of PanAust," chairman Garry Hounsell said.

  • Hills shares dive on profit warning AAP - 10 hours ago

    Shares in technology group Hills have dropped more than 16 per cent after it lowered its full year profit guidance by up to 40 per cent. Hills now expects to post an underlying full year profit of between $11 million and $14 million, well below the $18.5 million to $19.5 million range it flagged in February.

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