Asia-Pacific News Australia & New Zealand

  • Macquarie Bank, Australia's top listed investment bank, said on Friday its first-half profit is expected to be about 40% higher than the previous corresponding period, on strong M&A flows. But Macquarie added that there had been a slowdown in deals due to current market conditions.

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    Most of the Asian indexes closed in positive territory Thursday following a very choppy trading session, with South Korea closing almost 2% higher. Energy shares rallied as oil held near a record peak above $80 set overnight.

  • Australian miner Consolidated Minerals said on Thursday it recommended a revised $924 million offer from Ukraine's Palmary Enterprises.

  • New Zealand's central bank kept interest rates on hold at 8.25%, as expected, on Thursday amid a slowing domestic economy and global credit market turmoil.

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    Asian markets finished mixed Wednesday with Tokyo stocks closing lower on news that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had resigned.

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    Asian markets found their footing and reversed losses to close mostly higher Tuesday, but China suffered heavy losses. Energy stocks rose after a surge in oil prices. Japan and South Korea closed stronger after spending most of the morning in negative territory.

  • Shareholders in Australian healthcare company Symbion Health narrowly rejected a $2.4 billion offer from Healthscope on Tuesday.

  • Australian business conditions remained buoyant at an all-time high in August, despite an interest rate hike by the central bank and increased volatility in financial markets, a private-sector survey showed on Tuesday.

  • 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 pared morning losses, but still closed broadly lower in the afternoon session Monday, with exporters hit hard on concerns the U.S. economy may be heading into a recession. Japan and South Korea both closed over 2% lower.

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    It was a mixed end to the Asian trading week. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index closed lower as investors took profit from the previous session's gains. But traders mainly took a wait-and-see approach ahead of a key U.S. jobs report due Friday.

  • Australia and Russia signed a nuclear safeguards agreement on Friday to allow the export of Australian uranium to Russia for use in its civilian nuclear power programme.

  • Australian infrastructure investment group Macquarie is set to team up with U.S. bank JP Morgan in a £4 billion (US$8 billion) bid battle for Britain's Southern Water, The Telegraph reported on its website.

  • Asian stocks closed in broadly positive territory Thursday, with the exception of Hong Kong and Australia, despite U.S. housing data renewing fears over the strength of Asia's top export market.

  • Woodside Petroleum inked an initial multi-billion dollar deal on Thursday with PetroChina to sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its proposed Browse project off Western Australia.

  • China's President Hu Jintao gave qualified support to an Australian initiative on climate change on Thursday as a rift opened at the APEC meeting over the "Sydney Declaration" and its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Australian employment surged in August while unemployment held at 33-year lows, suggesting the domestic economy had built a full head of steam even as turmoil in credit markets threatened the outlook for global growth.

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    Asian markets closed mixed following a cautious day ahead of major U.S. data due this week and an interest rate meeting by the European central bank. Japanese stocks boar the brunt of declines, while Hong Kong investors enjoyed resilience in the Hang Seng.

  • U.S. President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard cemented a strong alliance on Wednesday as Asia-Pacific ministers began talks ranging from human security and climate change to trade and economic reform.

  • Troubled Australian retailer Coles Group said on Wednesday its board had recommended an enhanced takeover offer from conglomerate Wesfarmers.

  • U.S. President George W. Bush said on Wednesday it would help to balance trade if China floated its currency, which has been allowed to appreciate gradually in the past two years but remains tightly managed.