NZ dollar drops below 67 US cts as plunging milk price stokes rate cut calls

The New Zealand dollar dropped below 67 US cents for the first time in almost five years after a plunging milk price stoked calls for the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates more aggressively than previously anticipated. The kiwi fell as low as 66.95 US cents, trading at 67.01 cents at 5pm in Wellington from 67.41 cents at 8am and 67.95 cents yesterday. Traders are pricing in 44 basis points of c…

  • From the Farm: Will 2015 be the year of the farming … BusinessDesk - 13 minutes ago

    Drones will be "as big for agriculture as the mobile phone", said 14-year-old Mark Gardyne, who along with his father, Neil, has been at the forefront of developing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for kiwi farms. It took only 20 minutes flight time for the drone compared to two hours for a person on a quad bike opening and closing 120 farm gates. US-based Fortune recently published an article - "Why 2015 is the year agriculture drones take off".

  • Ben Roberts-Smith climbs Seven's ranks AAP - 19 minutes ago

    Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith is taking over the helm of the Seven Network's operations in Queensland. Mr Roberts-Smith has been promoted from deputy general manager to general manager following the retirement of Neil Mooney. "Ben has been a part of the Seven Network for a number of years and has impressed us greatly with his management and leadership skills," Seven West boss Tim Worner said.

  • Fairfax to cut jobs in SA AAP - 40 minutes ago

    Fairfax Media has cut 35 jobs at its South Australian regional operations as part of a restructure to revitalise its newspapers and websites across the state. In details published on the Whyalla News website ...

  • South Port says annual profit beats guidance on stronger … BusinessDesk - 48 minutes ago

    South Port New Zealand said annual profit beat the top end of its guidance by about 7.1 percent after the Bluff port operator reported stronger cargo flows in the final quarter of the financial year. South Port reported record cargo flows of 1.479 million tonnes in the first half of the financial year as increased farmer demand for fertiliser and stock food flowed on from the 2014 dairy season's record payout to farmers and on consistent log export and petrol import volumes. The company had warned Fonterra Cooperative Group's downgrade to the forecast dairy payout would weigh on cargo flows in the second half.

  • TPP too big to fail, says visiting US trade deal specialist … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 1 minute ago

    Too much political capital has been invested in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal for it to fail at the final hurdle, says Peter Petri, a professor of international finance at Brandeis University and co-author of a study on the economic benefits of the TPP. Negotiations are about to accelerate this month after US legislators granted US president Barack Obama's administration fast-track approval, which means he can take a trade deal to Congress for a so-called "up or down" vote which can only accept or reject the deal, not alter it. Petri said the US president, along with other political leaders, now have a lot at stake to get an agreement after nearly a decade of negotiations.

  • There's still hope for Masters: UBS AAP - 1 hour 2 minutes ago

    Loss-making hardware chain Masters has weighed heavily on Woolworths' earnings but there are hopes that it's yet to realise its full potential. UBS analyst Ben Gilbert says there's room for Masters in Australia's $45 billion home improvement market despite tough competition from entrenched player Bunnings. Woolworths and business partner US hardware chain Lowe's have poured billions of dollars into Masters since its launch in 2011.

  • SeaDragon to raise $5 mln via discounted rights issue, … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 11 minutes ago

    SeaDragon, which announced an overhaul of its board this week, wants to raise at least $5 million through a discounted rights issue and a private placement to help fund the transition to its new Nelson manufacturing facility. The Nelson-based company intends to raise the funds through a pro-rata rights issue to existing shareholders and a potential private placement, it said in a statement. The new capital would be in addition to a $2.5 million convertible loan from cornerstone shareholder BioScience Managers, and is needed for the company's new Omega-3 fish oil refinery in Nelson, due to be commissioned later this year, which has gone over budget, stretching SeaDragon's balance sheet.

  • Woman's Wall St dream led to lawsuit AAP - 1 hour 16 minutes ago

    A jury is deciding the fate of a lawsuit in which 25-year-old Hanna Bouveng claims Benjamin Wey, chief executive officer of New York Global Group, degraded her sexually and then ruined her reputation after firing her. Wey says they never had sex and Bouveng turned to blackmail after being fired for poor performance. As Wey tells it, she was an opportunistic woman who bragged about her wealthy family connections but knew nothing about finance before he hired and began mentoring her.

  • Weak dairy prices prompt pull back in expectations … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 24 minutes ago

    Weak dairy prices have prompted analysts to pull back their expectations for Fonterra Cooperative Group's payout to farmers this season, with most forecasts now sitting below the dairy exporter's projection. Average prices dropped 5.9 percent to a six-year low in the GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight, paced by a 10.8 percent decline in whole milk powder, the nation's key export commodity. Continued weakness in dairy prices is being driven by increased supply from New Zealand, Europe and the US amid lacklustre demand in China and an import ban in Russia.

  • Decline in dairy price a warning sign for economy Newstalk ZB - 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    A slump in the price of dairy is being seen as a major warning sign for the economy.

  • Former Sigma CEO facing jail term AAP - 1 hour 57 minutes ago

    The former boss of Sigma Pharmaceuticals and the company's chief financial officer could be jailed after pleading guilty to falsifying the company's accounts. Former chief executive Elmo De Alwis and CFO Mark Smith pleaded guilty at Melbourne's County Court on Thursday to falsifying Sigma's books after inflating the prices of medicines bought by the company in 2009. The corporate watchdog, ASIC, says the pair also indicated they would plea guilty to charges of giving false or misleading information to Sigma's auditors and board.

  • Water 'bank machines' boost Kenya slums AAP - 2 hours 16 minutes ago

    Around the world people use bank machines to access cash: but in the Kenyan capital's crowded slums, people now use similar machines to access an even more basic requirement -- clean water. In a bid to boost access to clean water, four water dispensing machines have been installed in Nairobi slums that operate like cash machines -- with customers able to buy affordable water using smart cards. Previously, people living in Nairobi's cramped slums struggled to get clean water cheaply.

  • Kiwi firms struggle to make most of ideas AAP - 2 hours 16 minutes ago

    A company that gets a government research and development grant is almost twice as likely to introduce a world-first innovation, but research also shows Kiwi firms are not good at commercialising their ideas. The government's Business Growth Agenda targets increasing business expenditure on R&D, which is low by OECD standards, to 1 per cent of gross domestic product by 2018. The ultimate goal is to lift New Zealand's woeful productivity record and for Kiwi companies to make more profits, hire more people, and help grow the wider economy.

  • PM warns insurers over NSW storm victims AAP - 2 hours 22 minutes ago
    PM warns insurers over NSW storm victims

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged insurers to treat NSW Central Coast storm victims fairly. "Insurers love us when we are paying our premiums, but they don't always love us when we are making a ...

  • Shares continue to rise AAP - 2 hours 29 minutes ago

    The share market is on track for a third consecutive day of gains. The main indices were more than one per cent higher in early afternoon trade, as markets continue to stabilise after Monday's drastic reaction to Greece's failure to strike a debt deal with its creditors. Quay Equities head of trading Tristan K'Nell said there was a risk the recent good run for shares - the market also gained one per cent on Wednesday - could lose momentum in afternoon trade.

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  • Discovery secures European Olympic TV rights through 2024 Associated Press - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 2:14 AM NZST
    Discovery secures European Olympic TV rights through 2024

    U.S.-based media giant Discovery Communications Inc. secured the European broadcast rights for four Olympics through 2024 on Monday in a landmark deal worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion). The parent ...

  • Number of 'American-made' autos drops to new low CNBC - Mon, Jun 29, 2015 4:30 PM NZST
    Number of 'American-made' autos drops to new low

    It's getting tougher to find cars and trucks built in the U.S. that meet an industry index measuring which vehicles are the most "American-made".

  • Many options, no single solution to nation's traffic snarls Associated Press - Sun, Jun 28, 2015 3:52 AM NZST
    Many options, no single solution to nation's traffic snarls

    The problem is clear: Traffic congestion will become significantly worse and more widespread without big changes in how people and products get around. Build more roads. Build more public transit. Rely ...

  • USDA proposes healthier fare for child, adult day cares Associated Press - Sun, Jun 28, 2015 2:46 AM NZST
    USDA proposes healthier fare for child, adult day cares

    As teachers lament seeing toddlers too large to fit in playground swings, a federal program that feeds millions of low-income children may be overhauled for the first time in almost 50 years, aiming to ...

  • You face on your espresso? Highlights from tech show Associated Press - Sun, Jun 28, 2015 2:20 AM NZST
    You face on your espresso? Highlights from tech show

    Imagine staring deep into the foam of your favorite espresso drink and seeing a face looking back at you. Or how about using the charge in your fingers to clean your teeth? At the CE Week gadget show in ...

  • To Improve Productivity Tell Your Team to Go Take a Hike Entrepreneur - Sat, Jun 27, 2015 1:15 AM NZST
    To Improve Productivity Tell Your Team to Go Take a Hike

    Giving employees exercise breaks benefits their wellbeing and your bottom line.

  • Group gets green light for Vic wind farm AAP - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 2:05 PM NZST
    Group gets green light for Vic wind farm

    A deal has been struck to construct a $450 million wind farm in Victoria, just days after the renewable energy target finally passed parliament. A consortium of five companies, including America's GE and Australian contractor Downer EDI, has agreed to finance and build the 75-turbine Ararat wind farm in southwest Victoria. Project leader Renewable Energy Systems says the wind farm will be the country's third largest when construction is completed in 2017.

  • California court says 'sweepstakes' games are illegal Associated Press - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 11:15 AM NZST
    California court says 'sweepstakes' games are illegal

    Computerized "sweepstakes" games offered at special Internet cafes are the equivalent of slot machines that are illegal under state law, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court ...

  • McDonald's: Fewer Happy Meal orders opting for soda Associated Press - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 3:09 AM NZST
    McDonald's: Fewer Happy Meal orders opting for soda

    McDonald's says fewer people are picking soda for Happy Meals after it stopped listing the drinks as an option on its menu boards. The world's biggest hamburger chain said Thursday 48 percent of Happy ...

  • Takata CEO: Air bag defect still under investigation Associated Press - Thu, Jun 25, 2015 10:46 PM NZST
    Takata CEO: Air bag defect still under investigation

    The CEO of Takata Corp., the Japanese air bag maker at the center of a defect scandal that has resulted in recalls of more than 33.8 million vehicles, appeared at a news conference Thursday for the first ...