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Asia-Pacific News Australia & New Zealand

  • Several Asian markets raced ahead to rack up record gains at the start of the week. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed 2.2% higher as investors piled into oil stocks such as Sinopec following fresh highs for the commodity. 

  • AGL Energy, Australia's largest energy retailer, cut its 2008 profit forecast by as much as 17% due to higher costs and lower margins, sending its shares to an all-time low and wiping more than A$1 billion (US$905 million) from its market value.

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    Australia's government, desperately seeking re-election in a November poll, on Monday promised A$34 billion ($30 billion) in sweeping tax cuts if returned by voters.

  • Annual inflation in New Zealand unexpectedly fell to three-year lows in the third quarter, knocking the currency off 11-week highs but supporting the view that the central bank will keep interest rates on hold.

  • Trade between New Zealand and China is expected to receive a boost next year as both countries are likely to seal the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by April 2008 at the latest.

  • All this week, CNBC's "Asia Squawk Box" is on the road in New Zealand. "Asia Squawk Box" will take a look at all things Kiwi -- its economy, the booming tourism industry, New Zealand's growth as a film locale and post production facility, its wining and dining exports and much more.

  • Asian stocks ended the week in negative territory, pulling back from record highs after a weeklong rally.

  • Pallinghurst Resources on Friday lifted its cash offer for Australian manganese miner Consolidated Minerals by 10% to A$1.03 billion ($928 million), matching a rival offer from Ukraine's Palmary Enterprises.

  • After a brief pause in the morning session, Asian stocks regained momentum to extend their record run in the afternoon and close higher across the board. Markets in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea all touched lifetime highs.

  • Australia's jobless rate fell to a fresh 33-year low of 4.2% in September, keeping alive speculation that interest rates would need to be raised again to cool the economy and restrain inflation.

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    Asian markets closed broadly higher Wednesday, having been cheered by a rally on Wall Street the previous day after the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting minutes revealed a unanimous decision to cut US interest rates.

  • Asian markets swung back into positive territory to close higher Tuesday with Australia setting a new record and South Korea finishing almost flat after an erratic session with stocks see-sawing.

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    Asian markets finished mixed Monday, with South Korea closing at a new record high while China closed having reached record intra-day peaks. Trading volume was thin with Japanese markets closed for a one-day holiday.

  • Asian stocks had a mixed end to the week as many investors stayed out of the market in the run-up to the U.S. jobs data due later Friday. Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese stocks were weaker, but the Heng Seng enjoyed a late-session rally.

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    Asian stocks finished mostly lower Thursday as losses in the chip sector pulled the major indexes into the red, following a negative report on Intel.

  • Telstra, Australia's largest telephone company, may be forced to split its network and retail business to break a deadlock over building a high-speed broadband network and to boostcompetition.

  • Asian stocks finished mixed Wednesday following a late-session decline in Hong Kong and Singapore as investors took profits in the wake of a two-day rally.

  • Australia's central bank held interest rates steady as expected on Wednesday, likely waiting for global credit turmoil to calm and for a critical update on domestic inflation before deciding whether to hike again.

  • Strong global demand for industrial materials will continue for up to ten years, driven by China's fast economic growth, the head of mining company Rio Tinto told CNBC on Tuesday.

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    Asian markets finished higher across the board Tuesday, with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and South Korea in record-breaking territory lifted by financial companies after big banks, including Citigroup, set out their losses from subprime crisis, raising hopes that the worst may be over.