Top Stories

  • Tech companies settle job-poaching case AAP - 3 hours ago

    In a case that exposed the dark side of hiring practices in the tech industry, Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Corp and Adobe Systems Inc opened their cheque books to avoid an embarrassing trial by settling ...

  • Aust market closed for Anzac Day AAP - 7 hours ago

    The Australian share market is closed on Friday for the Anzac Day public holiday. On the ASX 24, at 1010 AEST on Friday, the June share price index futures contract was up seven points at 5,530, with 4,470 ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 9 hours ago

    The Australian stock market is closed on Friday for the Anzac Day public holiday. Stocks of key interest on the Australian stock exchange on Thursday were: AGO - ATLAS IRON - up two cents, or 2.1 per cent, ...

  • Commodities markets summary AAP - 9 hours ago

    A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas: ENERGY Oil prices moved higher as heightened tensions in Ukraine overcame concerns about record US commercial crude inventories. New York's West ...

  • International markets roundup AAP - 10 hours ago

    A roundup of trading on major world markets: NEW YORK - US stocks finished higher as concerns about rising tensions in Ukraine cast shadows over largely positive earnings results from Apple and other large ...

  • Finance News Update, what you need to know AAP - 10 hours ago
    Finance News Update, what you need to know

    WORLD FINANCE UPDATE: The Australian dollar has lost further ground, continuing its downward trajectory spurred by lower-than-expected March quarter inflation figures. At 0630 AEST on Friday, the Australian ...

  • Australian market closed on Anzac Day AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Australian market is closed on Friday for the Anzac Day public holiday. At 0645 AEST on Friday, the June share price index futures contract was up 11 points at 5,534. No major economic or equities ...

  • $A continues its fall AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Australian dollar has lost further ground, continuing its downward trajectory spurred by lower-than-expected March quarter inflation figures. At 0630 AEST on Friday, the Australian dollar was trading ...

  • Whitehaven cuts coal guidance AAP - 23 hours ago
    Whitehaven cuts coal guidance

    Whitehaven Coal shares have fallen after the miner cut its full year production guidance by up to eight per cent due to operational problems. Whitehaven shares dropped 4.5 cents, or 2.8 per cent, to $1.56. Whitehaven had some good news last week when the Commonwealth Department of the Environment found the company's biodiversity offsets package for its controversial flagship Maules Creek project complied with approval conditions.

  • Heineken returns to growth in Europe AAP - 23 hours ago
    Heineken returns to growth in Europe

    Heineken says it has returned to growth in its crucial Western Europe market in the first quarter, after a long period of stagnation. Organic sales - a figure which strips out the effects of currencies and acquisitions - grew by 3.4 per cent. Heineken said that like-for-like sales in Western Europe, where it is the largest brewer, were up 1.8 per cent to 1.51 billion euros.

  • $A steady after falling on CPI data AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 7:30 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar has recovered only some of the losses suffered after the release of lower than expected inflation figures. Lower than expected inflation figures on Wednesday dampened speculation of a cash rate hike in the near future, weighing the Australian dollar lower. National Australia Bank global co-head of FX strategy Ray Attrill said the inflation figures were still weighing on the currency on Thursday, although trading volumes were thin ahead of the Anzac Day long weekend. "The Australian dollar had very much a nothing day," Mr Attrill said.

  • Shares achieve sixth straight day of gains AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 7:16 PM NZST

    The share market closed firm at near six year highs following a sixth consecutive day of gains. Despite overnight weakness in global stock markets and political instability in Ukraine, the local market ...

  • ERM Power downgrades profit forecast AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 7:08 PM NZST

    ERM Power has secured $1 billion in new contracts to supply electricity to the federal and NSW governments. But the business-focused power supplier has downgraded its profit forecasts for the 2014/15 financial year, which is prior to the commencement of the new contracts. ERM Power will provide electricity to large sites owned by NSW Health and the state's departments of education, justice and attorney-general from July 2015, in a three-year deal worth $900 million. ERM has also secured a $100 million, 12-month extension of an existing deal to supply electricity to more than 80 federal government agencies, at sites including federal parliament house, Government House and the National Gallery.

  • ResMed lifts quarterly earnings AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 7:05 PM NZST

    Medical technology group ResMed has lifted its third quarter earnings by six per cent, despite flat sales from its key US market. Australian-listed ResMed, which makes sleep disorder equipment, achieved ...

  • Aust bond market strong on CPI data AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 7:01 PM NZST

    Australian bond futures prices remain strong after lower than expected inflation dampened speculation of a cash rate hike any time soon. Figures on Wednesday showed the consumer price index rose 0.6 per cent in the March quarter, lower than the 0.8 per cent economists had been expecting, reducing the likelihood of an imminent rate hike, Westpac senior market strategist Damien McColough said. "The market is still mulling over the fact that after yesterday's CPI, the Reserve Bank of Australia will probably sit on its hands for longer than was expected," Mr McColough said. At 1630 AEST on Thursday, the June 2014 10-year bond futures contract was trading at 96.045 (implying a yield of 3.955 per cent), up from 96.035 (3.965 per cent) on Wednesday.

  • Transurban expands into Qld for $7b AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:58 PM NZST
    Transurban expands into Qld for $7b

    Toll roads operator Transurban has extended its reach, leading a consortium that has bought several Brisbane toll roads from the Queensland government for around $7 billion. The consortium beat other bidders to acquire Queensland Motorways' 73.5 kilometres of roads and bridges for $6.67 billion, plus stamp duty of $384 million and transaction costs of $447 million. The Queensland Motorways portfolio comprises the Logan and Gateway motorways, CLEM7 tunnel, Go Between Bridge and Legacy Way, which is expected to begin operating in June 2015. Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton said the Brisbane toll roads were high quality assets that would help grow earnings for Transurban securityholders.

  • Atlas Iron optimistic despite price falls AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:45 PM NZST

    Iron ore prices might be falling but Atlas Iron is still committed to expansion, declaring its north Pilbara iron ore assets as good as BHP Billiton's. "To give you some idea of the scale ... over the last 40 years BHP has mined in the order of 200 million tonnes in that area," managing director Ken Brinsden told reporters. Mr Brinsden made the comments while announcing the company achieved record shipments of 2.73 million tonnes in the March quarter, up from 2.70 million tonnes in the December quarter. A development would include a railway line to replace its current use of trucks, and a hub where all of its iron ore would be processed.

  • Labor-Greens inquiry doesn't like audit AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:36 PM NZST

    A Labor-Greens dominated Senate committee has a whole lot of advice the government is likely to ignore ahead of its first budget. It wants the Renewable Energy Target retained and services for low-income and vulnerable groups quarantined from spending cuts. Any changes to funding social services should be discussed with the community sector while the McClure review into the welfare system should be made public. Unsurprisingly, coalition senators on the committee accuse their Labor-Greens colleagues of being in denial over the state of the federal budget.

  • Stocks to watch at close on Thursday AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:26 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Thursday: AGO - ATLAS IRON - up two cents, or 2.1 per cent, at 97.5 cents Western Australian iron ore producer Atlas Iron achieved record shipments ...

  • Healthcare magnate in serious condition AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:01 PM NZST
    Healthcare magnate in serious condition

    One of Australia's richest men, Paul Ramsay, is in a serious condition in a European hospital. The Ramsay Health Care chairman and founder's admission to hospital was announced to the ASX on Thursday morning but no further details were given. "On behalf of all Ramsay staff and doctors, we express our deep concern for Mr Ramsay," the company said. "We will keep the market informed of Mr Ramsay's condition."

  • Tribo-electric, the buzzword of the future AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 6:01 PM NZST

    It is an alluring goal of clean, reliable power free from geo-political risks -- and scientists in the United States say it lies within reach, thanks to a smart way to harvest energy called tribo-electricity. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say they have built a simple prototype device that converts stop-start movement into power. Zhong Lin Wang, a professor of materials science and engineering, described the invention a "breakthrough". Its electricity is created from friction between two substances causing a charge of electrons to be transferred from one to the other.

  • MARKET CLOSE NZ stocks rise on energy rally; MRP, Meridian and Contact climb BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:35 PM NZST

    By Suze Metherell April 24 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand stocks rose, energy stocks extended a rally for a second day as turmoil in the Labour Party fuelled speculation the incumbent National-led government ...

  • From the Farm: China tightens controls BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:12 PM NZST

    Last year the owner of a New Zealand infant formula brand sold in China was doing some serious legwork at home.

  • NZ dollar gains as RBNZ lifts rates, sees faster economic growth BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:06 PM NZST

    The New Zealand dollar gained against other currencies after Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while lifting his estimate for economic growth in the March year to 3.5 percent. The kiwi rose to 86.24 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 85.92 cents at 8am and 85.94 cents yesterday. Noting the strength of the kiwi dollar was unsustainable and holding back tradable inflation, the central bank raised its estimate for gross domestic product growth to 3.5 percent in the year ended March 31 from a previous forecast of 3.3 percent last month. At least they're not half-heartedly trying to jawbone the currency down when everyone knows it's going to have a very muted impact," said Stuart Ive, senior client adviser at OMF in Wellington.

  • The balancing act secret weapon - sleep AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 5:02 PM NZST

    Some of the most successful people I know are sharing their secret weapon for remaining strong and finding balance. One of them is Donna Shalala. She is the president of University of Miami and has a resume that anyone would find impressive - accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator. Her jobs titles include a stint working for then president Bill Clinton as secretary of health and human services.

  • Mentors help minority companies accelerate AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 4:01 PM NZST

    Mel Gravely says his construction company might not exist today if he didn't have mentors to guide it. Gravely's company, TriVersity, joined a program called a minority business accelerator even before he bought a controlling interest in the Cincinnati-based company in 2006. Accelerators have been launched in a handful of US metropolitan areas in recent years as local businesses, chambers of commerce and economic development groups work to create jobs and improve their region's quality of life. The Cincinnati accelerator, created by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber in 2003, has inspired officials and business people in the Greenville, South Carolina;

  • Car production races ahead by 12% AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 3:54 PM NZST

    Car production is accelerating ahead, driven by demand from Europe, according to the latest figures. A total of 142,158 cars were manufactured in the UK in March - a 12 per cent rise on the March 2013 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) said. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "The 12 per cent growth in UK car production in March 2014 is a significant step forward after a period of product changes at the start to the year. "This is a welcome boost for the UK's volume manufacturers for whom Europe is the key market.

  • $A remains below 93 US cents AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:54 PM NZST

    Weaker than expected inflation figures are continuing to weigh on the Australian dollar. The plunge came after official figures showed an annual inflation rate to March 31 of 2.9 per cent, lower than the market forecast of 3.2 per cent. Inflation above the Reserve Bank of Australia's two to three per cent target range would have raised hopes of an interest rate hike later in the year. At 1200 AEST on Thursday, the Australian dollar was trading at 92.95 US cents, up from 92.80 cents at the end of local trade on Wednesday.

  • Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:50 PM NZST
    Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

    Facebook's earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 per cent increase in advertising revenue. It was the fourth quarter in a row that Facebook beat forecasts as it continues to barrel ahead in mobile advertising at a time when nearly 80 per cent of its users are accessing it on smartphones and other portable gadgets. Facebook's revenue was $US2.5 billion, up 71 per cent from $US1.46 billion in the same period a year ago. Facebook shares climbed $US2.34, or 3.8 per cent, to $US63.71 in extended trading after the results came out.

  • Share market holds on to gains AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:30 PM NZST

    The share market is standing firm at near six year highs despite weakness in global stock markets. Local shares spent the morning in positive territory despite a soft lead from Wall Street overnight and losses on Asian markets, CommSec market analyst Juliette Saly said. Better than expected earnings reports from Apple and Facebook after the close of trading in the US had helped boost investor sentiment.

  • New Heathrow Terminal 2 set for opening AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:16 PM NZST

    The rundown, overcrowded Terminal 2 at London's sprawling Heathrow Airport is long gone, about to be replaced by a spacious new building built to handle 20 million passengers each year. The new facility was hailed as a cornerstone of Heathrow's revitalization when shown to reporters on Wednesday ahead of the June 4 opening. Lead architect Luis Vidal said its extensive use of natural light and high quality acoustics should make it a calm space for travellers accustomed to high anxiety at dark, noisy airports.

  • Stocks to watch at noon on Thursday AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:05 PM NZST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Thursday: AGO - ATLAS IRON - up 4.25 cents, or 4.45 per cent, at 99.75 cents Western Australian iron ore producer Atlas Iron achieved record ...

  • Questions on bubble as tech momentum fades AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 2:01 PM NZST

    The wobbly action of 2014 is still an open question: is this a correction, bear market or a bubble like the catastrophic dot-com boom and bust of 1999-2000? "There are some astronomical valuations out there," says Roger Kay, an analyst who follows tech companies at Endpoint Technologies. Facebook's market value is close to $US150 billion ($A161.33 billion), despite its spending spree including an eye-popping $US19 billion for messaging service WhatsApp and $US2 billion for the virtual reality company Oculus Rift. Twitter shares have tumbled some 40 per cent since peaking last year, but the popular messaging platform still carries a valuation of $US25 billion, despite never having posted a profit.

  • Southern Cross Forest attracts foreign, local interest, receiver says BusinessDesk - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 1:57 PM NZST

    Financially stricken wood processor Southern Cross Forest Products has attracted both local and international interest from potential buyers, and its receiver hopes to progress the sale next month. KordaMentha's Brendon Gibson today announced plans to shut the Dunedin-based company's Rosebank sawmill after a fire at its Mosgiel remanufacturing site cut its drying capacity, reducing the volume of timber it can process, and decided to wind down its unprofitable Australian distribution business. An information memorandum in the market for potential buyers has attracted a "mixture of both" local and foreign parties, though the strong New Zealand dollar and high log prices are a challenge for the export-focused business, Gibson told BusinessDesk. Southern Cross Forest Products had three mills in the South Island and one in Thames, and today's restructuring will result in 79 jobs being lost.

  • Transurban buys Qld Motorways for $7b AAP - Thu, Apr 24, 2014 1:34 PM NZST
    Transurban buys Qld Motorways for $7b

    A consortium led by toll road owner Transurban will pay $7 billion to buy a string of Brisbane motorways from the Queensland government. The consortium said it had signed an agreement to buy Queensland Motorways, which owns a 70km network of tolled roads, on Wednesday night after beating other bidders with a $7.057 billion offer. Transurban holds a 62.5 per cent stake in the consortium and will operate the Brisbane network, which includes the Go Between Bridge, CLEM7, Gateway and Logan motorways. Chief executive Scott Charlton said the motorways were high quality assets that would help grow earnings for shareholders.