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Asia-Pacific News Australia & New Zealand

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    Asian markets retreated in late afternoon trading, closing mixed after rallying earlier in the session following the Federal Reserve's interest rate cut.

  • Australian retail sales easily outpaced expectations in September, setting the seal on a very strong quarter for consumption and adding to an already compelling case for a further rise ininterest rates.

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    Asian markets finished mostly higher with South Korea closing at a new record and Japan edging higher right at the end of the trading session. But most investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve's decision on U.S. interest rates, due well after regional market's close. 

  • Australian bank Macquarie finally won control of Techem in a deal with major shareholders worth about 1.48 billion euros ($2.13 billion) after raising its offer for the German metering company.

  • Australian businesses were busy borrowing in September despite interest rates at decade highs, while a jump in approvals to build new homes provided a tentative sign of a recovery in housing construction.

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    Asian markets closed mostly lower Tuesday, with Japan, South Korea and Australia ending down as investors held back ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting that is expected to cut interest rates.

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    Australia slashed its official 2007/08 wheat crop forecast by 22 percent on Tuesday, the second downgrade in just six weeks as drought and searing temperatures have led to total crop failure in some regions.

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    Asian markets rallied in the afternoon session Monday to close higher across the board. South Korea and Australia hit new records on speculation of a U.S. interest rate cut this week, a weak U.S. dollar and upbeat earnings results, which all helped push stocks up.

  • A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    Asian markets rallied in the afternoon session Friday, ending the week higher as upbeat profits results from companies such as Sony gave stocks a boost.  Japan and Australia both finished over 1 percent higher, while South Korea advanced 2.6 percent.

  • New Zealand casino operator Sky City Entertainment Group confirmed its full-year profit guidance and said it had halted the possible sale of one its casinos pending the outcome of a takeover process.

  • Asian markets finished mixed Thursday with financial stocks taking a hit while strong Chinese economic data raised investors' concern over the prospects of further monetary tightening. The Shanghai Composite sank 4.8 percent, but South Korea closed over 2 percent higher.

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    Most of the major Asian indexes closed in the red Wednesday on reports that Merrill Lynch is expected to announce bigger-than-expected third-quarter losses. Japan, South Korea and Australia all closed lower. All three indexes fell sharply midway through the session after spending most of the morning in positive territory.

  • Australia has a strong Western-style economy. Consumer confidence is high, exports of raw materials and agricultural products are profitable, and the budget has been in surplus since 2002.

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    Asian stocks closed higher Tuesday, reversing two straight sessions of declines. But Japan finished almost unchanged on lingering worries about high oil prices and the full impact of the U.S. housing slump on its economy.

  • Australian bank Macquarie has raised its cash offer for German metering company Techem to 1.43 billion euros ($2 billion), 5.4 percent more than its previous bid.

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    Asian markets closed lower Monday, but pared back heavy losses suffered in the morning session and India's Sensex eked out a slight gain. Japan ended 2.2 percent lower while South Korea dropped 3.3 percent. 

  • Australian producer prices rose faster than expected last quarter, led by higher food and construction costs, fueling concerns consumer inflation could accelerate enough to provoke another hike in interest rates.

  • Do you remember the bug scene in King Kong (the 2005 version) where the heroes get dumped by Kong into the bottom of a ravine filled giant insects?  Well, one of those creepy crawlies might just have been a weta.

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    Asian markets finished red across the board Friday with financial stocks taking the worst of the beating as investors sold bank shares on credit concerns. Japan and South Korea both closed 1.7 percent lower, while Australia finished just shy of 1 percent down.

  • U.S. private equity firm TPG is examining the books of New Zealand casino operator Sky City Entertainment Group, sources familiar with the matter said Friday, with any bid seen worth over US$2 billion.