$A lower despite Chinese data boost

The Australian dollar is lower despite receiving a boost from expectations of a possible Chinese stimulus package. At 1700 AEST on Wednesday, the local currency was trading at 93.64 US cents, down from 93.87 cents on Tuesday. China's economic growth slowed to a 24-year low of 7.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, the latest figures showed. The Australian dollar initially bounced on the dat…

  • Commodiity slump may not hurt so badly AAP - 20 minutes ago

    It's a common complaint that Australia's mining industry is mostly foreign owned, but that could soften the blow from falling commodity prices. The fall in prices began in mid-2011, and at last measure by the Reserve Bank of Australia, prices in foreign currency terms were down by 28 per cent from that peak. It's fashionable in official circles, most notably at the RBA, to measure that effect by comparing two measures of national income. The other is gross domestic income (GDI), which tots up the value of the goods and services that can be bought with the proceeds of selling GDP.

  • US gains and mining updates boost shares AAP - 28 minutes ago

    The share market closed higher as investors were encouraged by good corporate earnings reports from the United States and shrugged off economic growth figures out of China. US investors had rediscovered enthusiasm for some stocks that had previously been considered overvalued, following a better than expected earnings report from Intel, the world's largest maker of microprocessors, CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said. "That's been reflected in the action here today," Mr McCarthy said. Some reasonably solid production reports from miners BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals had helped to boost the resources sector, he said.

  • Aust bonds weakened by Chinese data AAP - 32 minutes ago

    Australian bond futures prices are higher, despite being weighed down by stronger than expected Chinese gross domestic product figures. Australian bond futures rallied overnight after the Empire State Manufacturing survey released in the US was significantly weaker than expected. At 1630 AEST on Wednesday, the June 2014 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.015 (implying a yield of 3.985 per cent), up from 96.005 (3.995 per cent) on Tuesday. The June 2014 three-year bond futures contract was at 97.010 (2.990 per cent), up from 97.000 (3.000 per cent).

  • Bad news in China is good for BHP AAP - 1 hour 13 minutes ago
    Bad news in China is good for BHP

    BHP Billiton has lifted its full year guidance for iron ore output on a day bad Chinese economic news was good news for the mining giant. The release of weaker quarterly economic growth figures in China - including a five year low in industrial production growth - sparked predictions it would combat that with an infrastructure spending stimulus package. Shares in BHP fell after the morning release of its quarterly production update but then jumped - as did fellow iron ore miners Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals - on the release of China's data.

  • Stocks to watch at close on Wednesday AAP - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close on Wednesday: ALZ - AUSTRALAND PROPERTY GROUP - steady at $4.25 Property developer Australand is preparing for a possible takeover from fellow ...

  • Aust shares close higher AAP - 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    The share market has closed higher as investors returned to high-growth stocks after better than expected financial results from the US technology sector. At the close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 32.1 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 5,420.3 while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 32.3 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 5,412.6.

  • Financial industry looks to grow in Asia AAP - 1 hour 30 minutes ago

    Australia's financial services industry is literally being given a passport to spread its wares more easily to new clients in the Asia-Pacific region. The federal government has backed an initiative that came out of the 2009 report that looked at Australia as a financial centre that would give financial service exporters greater access to overseas markets. Called the Asia Region Funds Passport, it would reduce the red tape faced by fund managers across the region, while providing Australian investors with a greater choice of investment portfolios. The idea was endorsed by APEC finance ministers' Bali meeting last September, and a statement of intent for the framework was signed by Australia, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore.

  • State budget will hurt WA households AAP - 1 hour 43 minutes ago

    Households will be slugged by the West Australian budget because the state government "maxed out" spending on big projects and increased public sector wages, the new treasurer warns. Mike Nahan, who replaced Troy Buswell as treasurer last month after the later allegedly hit several vehicles while driving home after a wedding, blamed the ailing budget position on falling revenue from sources such as payroll tax and iron ore mining. Mr Nahan said that as revenue fell, spending on hospitals and a new stadium had racked up large debt. Among the mistakes was the state government's "unrealistic deadline" for the Fiona Stanley Hospital and the botched Muja power station refurbishment, Mr Nahan said.

  • State budget will hurt WA househoulds AAP - 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    Households will be slugged by the West Australian budget because the state government "maxed out" spending on big projects and increased public sector wages, the new treasurer warns. Mike Nahan, who replaced Troy Buswell as treasurer last month after the later allegedly hit several vehicles while driving home after a wedding, blamed the ailing budget position on falling revenue from sources such as payroll tax and iron ore mining. Mr Nahan said that as revenue fell, spending on hospitals and a new stadium had racked up large debt. Among the mistakes was the state government's "unrealistic deadline" for the Fiona Stanley Hospital and the botched Muja power station refurbishment, Mr Nahan said.

  • MARKET CLOSE NZ shares gain on global rally; Diligent, … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 51 minutes ago

    By Suze Metherell April 16 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand stocks joined a global rally as US company earnings growth lifted sentiment for equity markets. Diligent Board Member Services led the benchmark ...

  • Fortescue plans to boost production by 35% AAP - 2 hours 17 minutes ago

    Fortescue Metals plans to boost production by 35 per cent over the next three months, a target boss Nev Power says is "absolutely realistic". The Pilbara iron ore miner plans to ship 41.6 million tonnes in the June quarter after notching up 30.8 million tonnes of shipments in the previous quarter, despite weather interruptions. Chief executive Nev Power says milder weather will help the company achieve its ambitious June quarter target after reaching full production in March. "Absolutely it's realistic," Mr Power told reporters on Wednesday.

  • Study shows high risk levels on market AAP - 2 hours 28 minutes ago

    More than 60 per cent of companies listed on the Australian share market are exposed to an escalating level of risk, says research house and funds manager Lincoln Indicators. Lincoln says its latest analysis of about 2,000 listed companies shows only 26 per cent are in strong or satisfactory financial health. Lincoln used 12 accounting ratios to assess the financial health of the companies, based on their financial statements for the period ending December 31, 2013. Companies with a "strong" or "satisfactory" score were judged to have acceptable levels of investment risk, and companies with an "early warning", "marginal" or "distress" score had escalating degrees of risk.

  • Telco TPG fined for barring 000 access AAP - 2 hours 30 minutes ago
    Telco TPG fined for barring 000 access

    A day after his TPG phone account was suspended, retired NSW police officer Michael Merrin fell seriously ill. The September 2011 case was just one of 193 occasions in which TPG customers were blocked from reaching emergency services. Almost 6000 TPG customers with suspended or inactive accounts due to bills being unpaid or other reasons were denied access to emergency lines between March and September 2011. The telco was fined $400,000 in the Federal Court on Wednesday, with Justice Mordecai Bromberg criticising the company's lax approach to important regulations.

  • The truth about lying: do you cheat? AAP - 2 hours 40 minutes ago

    To behave in ways that are more moral, we should concentrate less on money and more on how we spend the passing hours, says Cassie Mogilner, an assistant professor of marketing at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "When people are focused on money, they behave in self-interested but not self-reflective ways," Mogilner wrote in her paper.

  • NZ dollar falls to nine-day low after slower than expected … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 41 minutes ago

    The New Zealand dollar dropped to a nine-day low after slower than expected inflation raised questions over the track of rising local interest rates. The kiwi fell as low as 85.79 cents, trading at 85.86 cents at 5pm in Wellington from 86.39 cents at 8am and 86.50 cents yesterday. New Zealand's consumers price index slowed to an annual increase of 1.5 percent in the three months ended March 31, from 1.6 percent in the December period, and below the Reserve Bank's forecast. Still, traders have priced in a 97 percent chance the Reserve Bank will hike the official cash rate a quarter-point to 3 percent next week as governor Graeme Wheeler continues to try and head off building inflation pressures in the economy.

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