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The business week in numbers

Metcash's shares hit a record high, a drop in mining exports drags on trade numbers and shareholders protest against a telco's executive pay: Here's a few of the numbers that grabbed attention - or should have - in the business world this week.


$3.00 - The price of Metcash shares and their highest level in more than three and a half years. The positive investor sentiment was triggered by a 24 per cent lift in first-half profit, to $92.9 million, on the back of boosted earnings across its food, liquor and hardware divisions.


1.5% - Australia's cash rate. As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia left the official interest rate steady for a 16th straight month when it met for the last time in 2017. Governor Philip Lowe said wages growth would remain weak for a while yet, though he noted reports of a skills shortage in the jobs market, which could put upward pressure on pay.


30% - The percentage of shareholders who lodged a protest vote against TPG Telecom's executive pay. TPG was hit with a first strike over remuneration at the company's annual general meeting. Company director Denis Ledbury acknowledged that TPG's approach to remuneration was different to other companies, and said the board would take the warning into consideration.


$105 million - Australia's trade surplus hit its lowest level in six months. The trade surplus plummeted to $105 million in October, from a revised $1.6 billion surplus in September, following a drop in mining exports. But economists are hopeful it will not dent economic growth in the December quarter.


$32.5 billion - The value of housing finance approvals in October. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that home loan approvals rose 0.6 per cent on September, seasonally adjusted - surpassing market expectations.