Top Stories

  • Oil sales from Iran exceed 300k barrels AAP - 9 hours ago
    Oil sales from Iran exceed 300k barrels

    Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh says Iran's crude oil sales to Europe after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran have already reached above 300,000 barrels, according to the ministry's news agency. Iran's oil exports, which had peaked at more than three million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, fell to a little more than one million bpd after tougher sanctions were imposed in 2012 because of its nuclear program. After the rubber-stamping of the nuclear deal with world powers last year, however, Tehran has ordered a 500,000 bpd increase in oil output.

  • Obama claims victory after employment rise AAP - 10 hours ago
    Obama claims victory after employment rise

    President Barack Obama says Americans should feel good about the economy after the latest jobs report showed the US unemployment rate at an eight-year low of 4.9 per cent. Obama, in his eighth and final year in office, on Friday made a relatively rare and unexpected appearance in the White House briefing room to talk about how the economy had recovered under his watch. "We have recovered from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the worst in my lifetime and the lifetime of most of the people in this room," Obama said, noting the unemployment rate was 10 per cent in 2009, when he took office.

  • Ten companies control politics: Dastyari AAP - 12 hours ago
    Ten companies control politics: Dastyari

    Labor senator Sam Dastyari has hit out at ten top Australian companies, accusing them of hijacking democratic debate with their interests and agendas. In a speech to a politics in the pub event in Canberra ...

  • LinkedIn shares plunge almost 44% in US AAP - 17 hours ago
    LinkedIn shares plunge almost 44% in US

    Investors have given LinkedIn a poor job review in the form of a dramatic sell-off that wiped out nearly $US10 billion ($A13.92 billion) in the professional networking service's market value after it issued ...

  • Tas cleans up at national tourism awards AAP - 18 hours ago
    Tas cleans up at national tourism awards

    Apple Isle tourism operators have won more medals at the national tourism awards than any other state in the country. Tasmanian operators claimed seven golds, nine silvers and three bronzes at the Qantas ...

  • Three missing after SAfrica mine collapse AAP - 19 hours ago
    Three missing after SAfrica mine collapse

    Almost 90 miners have been rescued and three other workers are missing after a cave-in at a gold mine in the northeast of South Africa, mine owner Vantage Goldfields says. The collapse at the mine's main entrance on Friday trapped 87 workers underground, all of whom were rescued, the small, Australia-based gold producer said in a statement, but three others who had been working on the surface at the time could not be accounted for. Work at the mine was suspended pending investigation on what caused the collapse, Vantage said.

  • Twitter 'suspends 125,000 terror accounts' AAP - 19 hours ago
    Twitter 'suspends 125,000 terror accounts'

    Twitter Inc says it has shut down more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of them linked to the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Twitter has said it takes down accounts only when they are reported by other users, but the company said in a blog post on Friday it had increased the size of teams monitoring and responding to reports and had decreased its response time "significantly". When accounts are reported, Twitter said it looked at ones that were similar and used spam-fighting tools to identify other violent accounts, which it said had resulted in more suspensions.

  • Texas jury orders Apple to pay $US626m AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 10:42 PM NZDT
    Texas jury orders Apple to pay $US626m

    A US federal jury in East Texas has ordered Apple to pay $US625.6 million ($A870.76 million) after finding that Apple services like FaceTime and iMessage infringed on technology patents held by Nevada patent-holding company VirnetX. VirnetX had previously won a $US368 million verdict against Apple on similar claims in 2012. While an attorney for VirnetX praised the verdict, Apple vowed to appeal and said the case shows a need for patent-system reform.

  • Toyota's quarterly profit up 5% AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 9:51 PM NZDT
    Toyota's quarterly profit up 5%

    Toyota's quarterly profit rose nearly five per cent as sales expanded, especially in the US, prompting the Japanese automaker to raise its full year earnings forecast. Toyota Motor Corp., the number 1 ...

  • IKEA loses its trademark in Indonesia AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 9:16 PM NZDT
    IKEA loses its trademark in Indonesia

    There is Samsung of South Korea, Sony of Japan, BMW of Germany and IKEA of Indonesia. Wait! IKEA of Indonesia? Yes, at least in Indonesia, if not worldwide. Furniture giant IKEA, founded in Sweden in 1943, ...

  • Chocolate demand falls as bars shrink AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 8:58 PM NZDT
    Chocolate demand falls as bars shrink

    Chocolate bars have shrunk and economic growth in Asia has slowed, meaning people are eating less chocolate and its key ingredient cocoa, which has seen its price fall this year after defying commodities trends to soar in 2015. High prices for ingredients last year - including nuts and milk as well as cocoa - helped make chocolate a less affordable treat for consumers in emerging markets such as China and India. Market research firm Nielsen has estimated there was a 3.7 per cent year-on-year decline in global chocolate confectionery demand in the September-November period.

  • Telstra buys more spectrum for $190m AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 8:49 PM NZDT
    Telstra buys more spectrum for $190m

    Telstra has spent $190 million to boost the capacity of its mobile network. The country's largest telco has bought 57 blocks of spectrum at an Australian Communications and Media Authority auction. The blocks of spectrum in the 1800 megahertz band cover 12 regions across Australia and will be used to enhance the delivery of 4G mobile services.

  • PM has no stake, 7-Eleven owner says AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 8:21 PM NZDT
    PM has no stake, 7-Eleven owner says

    The owner of convenience store giant 7-Eleven in Australia says Malcolm Turnbull has no financial interest in his company. Mr Turnbull has shares in two international investment funds that invest in Japanese conglomerate Seven & I Holdings, it said.

  • Economists focused on RBA and rates AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 7:48 PM NZDT

    The Reserve Bank was the focus for economists this week, after keeeping its benchmark cash rate steady. The decision was widely expected, but economists closely examined the wording of the statement from the central bank's governor Glenn Stevens. Most economists favour the view that the statement implied the RBA would wait a while, but would eventually cut the cash rate from its current record low 2.0 per cent.

  • $A rises ahead of US jobs numbers AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 7:34 PM NZDT

    The Australian dollar is slightly higher ahead of the release of US jobs figures, despite a small dip on disappointing local retail data. At 1700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 71.82 ...

  • $A up ahead of US jobs numbers AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 7:21 PM NZDT

    The Australian dollar is slightly higher ahead of the release of US jobs figures. At 1700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 71.82 US cents, up from 71.72 US cents on Thursday. RBC Capital ...

  • Market ends weak with modest fall AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 7:16 PM NZDT

    The Australian share market ended the week with a modest fall as weakness in financial and retail stocks were partly offset by gains by the big miners. Macquarie Group division director Lucinda Chan said ...

  • Aust bonds lift on poor local retail data AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:58 PM NZDT

    Australian bonds are performing sightly better, but most investors are sitting tight ahead of the release of US payroll data. JP Morgan interest rate strategist Sally Auld says bonds have risen after the ...

  • Aust share market closes lower AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:41 PM NZDT

    The Australian share market finished the trading day slightly lower, as falls in financial and retail stocks were partly offset by gains by the big miners. Macquarie Group division director Lucinda Chan ...

  • News Corp cuts newspaper costs on 2Q drop AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:31 PM NZDT
    News Corp cuts newspaper costs on 2Q drop

    News Corp is cutting costs at its Australian and British newspapers after a strong second quarter performance from its digital real estate business failed to offset lower advertising revenue from the news division. Total revenue at Rupert Murdoch's media giant fell for a fourth straight quarter and chief executive Robert Thomson said on Friday the group was aiming to save money across its masthead titles, which include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun. Total revenue declined 4.3 per cent to $US2.161 billion and, while the company said that would have been a two per cent increase had it not been for fluctuating exchange rates.

  • Perth house prices set for 3-5% falls AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:30 PM NZDT
    Perth house prices set for 3-5% falls

    Perth house prices are likely to fall by three to five per cent this year as the mining dependent economy teeters on the verge of recession. National Australia Bank (NAB) expects the residential property sector to remain weak in Western Australia as lower commodities prices force companies to shed staff and population growth slows. NAB chief economist Alan Oster said there was a potentially negative risk to the bank's forecast of a three per cent fall in house and unit prices in Perth in 2016 due to high unemployment, but the chances of double digit house price falls was low.

  • REA half year profit up 28% AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:30 PM NZDT

    More real estate agents taking out more expensive listings on realestate.com.au have helped boost REA Group's half year earnings. The lift in revenue comes despite the real estate industry reporting flat growth in the number of property listings. REA Group's profit in the six months to December 31 rose 28 per cent to $121 million on the prior corresponding period.

  • Whitehaven defies falling coal prices AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:21 PM NZDT

    Whitehaven Coal has swung back to profit and beaten its earnings guidance for the first half of the financial year despite falling coal prices. Whitehaven made a loss of $77.9 million in the same period a year ago due to heavy writedowns. Prices for both thermal and metallurgical coal fell in the half year, and Whitehaven said a recovery may only come by 2017.

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:19 PM NZDT

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Friday: AIO - ASCIANO - down one cent, or 0.1 per cent, at $8.89 QUB - QUBE HOLDINGS - up two cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $2.20 The long running takeover ...

  • Aust shares close lower AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:16 PM NZDT

    The Australian share market has closed slightly lower, despite the best efforts of the big miners to keep the bourse out of the red. At the close on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 4.2 points, or 0.08 per cent, lower at 4,976.2, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 3.7 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 5,025.6.

  • RBA watching data, rate cut an option AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:09 PM NZDT
    RBA watching data, rate cut an option

    The Reserve Bank says it could cut the cash rate further if needed, but that the current setting is right for the time being. "At the February meeting, the board judged that there were reasonable prospects for continued growth in the economy, with inflation close to target," the RBA said in its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy released on Friday. At that meeting on Tuesday, the RBA kept the cash rate at a record low of two per cent.

  • Turnbull says no to more money for states AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 6:06 PM NZDT
    Turnbull says no to more money for states

    Malcolm Turnbull says the states must fund any increase in spending on schools and hospitals and not expect Canberra to be an ATM. Mr Turnbull is facing a backlash from within the coalition over a possible rise in the rate of the GST from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. At the same time, Labor and the states have urged the government to boost spending on schools and hospitals.

  • 'Trust us', says NBN boss AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 5:59 PM NZDT

    NBN Co chief executive Bill Morrow said roughly half of the nation's homes and businesses are now either in the design process, under construction or ready for service. Some industry experts argue the change will slow broadband speeds.

  • Construction starts new year on back foot AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 5:54 PM NZDT

    The construction industry has begun the year on a weak footing, with activity shrinking again in bad news for the broader economy. Ai Group head of public policy Peter Burn said the sector had become increasingly dependent on robust residential construction and, in particular, apartment building in recent months. Apartment building returned to negative territory after six months of expansion but commercial construction was the weakest sub-sector in the month, contracting at the sharpest rate since July 2013.

  • MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; A2, Kiwi Property rise, Hallenstein, retailers fall BusinessDesk - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 5:53 PM NZDT

    New Zealand shares rose, led by milk marketer A2 Milk Co and Air New Zealand, although the value of trading continued to be relatively light as volatility in world markets and commodities kept some investors on the sidelines. Hallenstein Glasson dropped after posting weaker first-half profit and most retailers fell. Volatile world markets have weighed on the New Zealand bourse so far this year, with the NZX 50 down almost 3 percent.

  • LinkedIn shares tumble on weak forecast AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 5:50 PM NZDT
    LinkedIn shares tumble on weak forecast

    LinkedIn finished last year with better-than-expected financial results, but a weak forecast for 2016 is sending the company's stock plunging more than 25 per cent. In addition, LinkedIn said it will phase out a new advertising service that hasn't worked out as planned, which will cause it to forego roughly $US50 million in near-term revenue.

  • NZ dollar slips from month-high ahead of US payrolls; Fed rate hikes questioned BusinessDesk - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 5:31 PM NZDT

    The New Zealand dollar fell from a month-high ahead of employment data in the US that may give investors more clarity on how much time the US Federal Reserve will take to raise interest rates again. Investors are awaiting the key US non-farm payrolls report, which is expected to show US employers added 190,000 workers in January, while the unemployment rate remained at 5 percent. A number above 190,000 should be positive for the greenback, showing healthy growth in the US labour market, but investors are betting the Fed may hold off on raising interest rates again any time soon, which is taking the shine off the US dollar.

  • Silly season retail trade falls flat AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 4:34 PM NZDT
    Silly season retail trade falls flat

    December's Christmas season sales were flat, breaking a run of four straight monthly rises. Non food retail sales recorded an outright contraction in December, down 0.3 per cent, Westpac economist Matthew Hassan said.

  • Fonterra offers payout to organic farmers based on market returns, a first for the cooperative BusinessDesk - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 4:12 PM NZDT

    Fonterra Cooperative Group is for the first time offering its organic dairy farmers a payout based on market returns in a bid to boost organic supply as competition and consumer demand increase. It's the third time in a year the cooperative has reviewed the way it pays organic farmers. It will now offer organic farmers a choice for the 2016/17 season starting, in June, of either a payout based on a share of the market returns for organic products or the existing payment based on a $1.75 premium to the forecast conventional farmgate milk payout, which is currently $4.15 per kilogram of milk solids.

  • Hope, frustration, after sanctions lift AAP - Fri, Feb 5, 2016 4:01 PM NZDT

    The lifting of sanctions on Iran has given Mohammad Sadeghzadeh hope of saving his struggling textile factory -- as long as the impact of the changes is felt quickly. Iranians are delighted the United States, United Nations and European Union agreed to lift nuclear-related sanctions on January 16 in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program. Although, the US still has sanctions in place prohibiting most business between US individuals or entities and Iran as well as US dollar trades.