RBA expected to cut rate

A growing band of top economists expect the Reserve Bank to take a razor to interest rates on Tuesday, amid further signs the economy is deteriorating. All 17 economists surveyed by AAP expect the RBA to deliver at least one more rate cut in 2015, taking the cash rate to a new record low of two per cent. Eleven of those economists expect that cut will happen on Tuesday, following on from Februar…

  • Farmers to get low-down on global outlook AAP - 2 hours 26 minutes ago

    As the Reserve Bank board chews over another interest rate cut, the agriculture sector is about to hear the low-down on domestic and international economic outlooks. World Bank economist Ayhan Kose will address the annual two-day Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences conference in Canberra on Tuesday about the prospects for the global economy. National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster will provide a domestic perspective.

  • Hodgman to reveal plan for Tasmania AAP - 2 hours 26 minutes ago

    Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman will unveil his plans for the coming year in his State of the State address to parliament. Just a couple of weeks short of his first anniversary in the state's top job, Mr Hodgman said Tuesday's speech will detail a continuation of the positive momentum already created under his leadership. During its first year in power, the Liberal administration is boasting the creation of 7000 new jobs across Tasmania, along with a boost to business and the tourism industry, while rebuilding the forest and mining sectors. "Our first year record demonstrates what a strong, stable majority government can achieve," Mr Hodgman said.

  • Solid Energy on shaky ground Newstalk ZB - 2 hours 56 minutes ago

    Solid Energy still has cash in the bank, but is in a precarious position.

  • Business confidence needs another rate cut AAP - 4 hours ago

    The reluctance of businesses to borrow funds for growth makes another interest rate cut more likely, an economist says. The Reserve Bank's February rate cut, which took the cash rate to a record low of 2.25 per cent, has done little to spur business borrowing, a survey by Dun & Bradstreet found. Just 19 per cent of firms surveyed plan to borrow during the June quarter, compared with 18 per cent a year ago, and Dun & Bradstreet economic adviser Stephen Koukoulas said weak business confidence made another rate cut more likely. "With expectations for a much needed, sustained upswing in business investment and employment having stalled, it is likely that the RBA will need to provide further monetary policy stimulus in the near term," said Mr Koukoulas, who is a former senior Treasury economist and economic adviser to former prime minister Julia Gillard.

  • Stop the budget blame game: businesses AAP - 5 hours ago

    Australia has a decade to sort out its federal budget problems or lifestyles will suffer. It says the nation has a choice between taking early, gradual action now or doing nothing and facing blunt, costly spending cuts and tax increases down the track, "possibly in crisis". The council's chief Jennifer Westacott says it's time the blame game was taken out of the budget debate. Australia has a structural problem where spending is higher than taxes received now that revenues are returning to more normalised levels.

  • Labor's tax plan may hit growth: BCA AAP - 7 hours ago
    Labor's tax plan may hit growth: BCA

    Big business is concerned that federal Labor's plan to close multinational tax loopholes will slow economic growth. In what shadow treasurer Chris Bowen described as an "opening salvo in the battle of ideas", Labor's first major policy announcement in opposition is to introduce a range of measures to stop billions of dollars of tax bleeding offshore. "This announcement today sets a blueprint for Labor's approach in office," Mr Bowen told reporters in Canberra on Monday. The tax package, that has been costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office, is worth $1.9 billion over four years in additional revenue.

  • Iron ore bullying claims baseless: union AAP - 9 hours ago

    An Australian Workers' Union resolution demanding a parliamentary inquiry into Rio Tinto and BHP's iron ore practices is baseless grandstanding, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) says. The Australian Workers' Union's national meeting on Monday passed a resolution condemning the companies for what it claimed was "unconscionable market conduct". The AWU accused the mining pair of flooding the iron ore market while demand is falling to drive smaller, higher cost suppliers out of the sector. A parliamentary inquiry was needed to ensure alleged "cartel-like market behaviour" was stopped, the AWU said.

  • Palaszczuk predicts Abbott's downfall AAP - 10 hours ago

    Annastacia Palaszczuk says Tony Abbott must heed the lessons of the Queensland election or risk guaranteeing his own party's downfall at the next federal poll. The new Queensland premier received a rock star welcome when she appeared at an Australian Workers' Union conference on Monday. Ms Palaszczuk, who has become a Labor hero following the party's shock win over the Liberal National Party on January 31, was given a standing ovation by delegates before she even began her speech. Nevertheless, Ms Palaszczuk used the platform to warn there were lessons for the federal government in Queensland, as well as encouraging signs for her Labor counterparts in Canberra.

  • $A lower ahead of RBA board meeting AAP - 12 hours ago

    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 investment data last week means that a second interest rate reduction is inevitable after a bout of weak economic data in recent days. At 1700 AEDT, the Australian dollar was at 93.15 Japanese yen, up from Thursday's close of 92.99 yen, and at 69.54 euro cents, down from 69.57 euro cents.

  • Miners lead shares toward a milestone AAP - 12 hours 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 - 12 hours 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 - 12 hours 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 - 12 hours 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 - 12 hours 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 - 12 hours 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.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Cuban cigar makers anticipate big bucks from US travelers Associated Press - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 4:12 AM NZDT
    Cuban cigar makers anticipate big bucks from US travelers

    Over six decades rolling premium cigars with his small, wrinkled hands, Arnaldo Alfonso has taken pride in seeing his "habanos" sampled by visiting heads of state and other dignitaries. Now he's ...

  • Taco Bell to Open First Restaurants in Japan Entrepreneur - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 4:04 AM NZDT
    Taco Bell to Open First Restaurants in Japan

    The taco chain plans to add 1,300 new locations internationally by 2023.

  • Study: Smokers may tap into multiple sources for nicotine Associated Press - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 3:48 AM NZDT
    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 ...