Gerry Harvey, Executive Chairman of Harvey Norman, expects improvements in the retail sector to lift profits this year and discusses what Australia's robust housing market means for the firm.» Read More
Asciano, Australia's biggest port and rail operator, said on Monday it had received an unsolicited bid worth around $2.7 billion from private equity, sending its share price up as much as 17 percent.
Asian markets extended losses in the afternoon session Friday after disappointing U.S. economic data revived concerns about a recession in the world's top economy and bearish comments from former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan sank Wall Street.
Manufacturing in Australia slowed in July to its lowest level since late 2005 and new orders dropped as higher interest rates and the global credit squeeze continued to crimp activity, a private survey showed on Friday.
Asian stocks were mostly higher Thursday, though markets pared back gains as investors weighed central bank support for the financial sector against continued uncertainty about growth and the worry that loose monetary policy could fuel inflation further out.
Australian retail sales took their biggest fall in six years in June, stirring fears the economy was slowing far more rapidly than policy-makers had planned and fanning talk of early cuts in interest rates.
Asian markets rallied Wednesday as investors joined Wall Street's optimism that the worst news from U.S. banks might be over and took heart from a strengthening dollar and falling oil prices. Japan and Australia both closed higher.
Asian stocks tumbled Tuesday, after Merrill Lynch, the third-largest U.S. investment bank, said it would take a $5.7 billion write down related to bad debt, draining confidence in the unstable financial sector. Japan and Australia both fell 1.5%.
Asian markets were mostly higher Monday as financial sector uncertainty lingered ahead of a slew of company earnings. Exporters advanced on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar which rose to a one-month high.
Asian markets were sharply lower Friday, ending a four-day rally, after bleak U.S. economic data weighed on financials, while a drop in the U.S. dollar against the yen hit exporters such as Toyota Motor.
National Australia Bank, the nation's top lender, booked another A$830 million ($798 million) in losses from its exposure to U.S. mortgages, sending its shares down as much as 13 percent.
Oil prices fell to a seven-week low below $125 a barrel Thursday as U.S. energy demand was seen reaching a tipping point, sending investors back into Asian stocks for the fourth consecutive day. Both Japan and South Korea closed 2% higher.
Asian markets strengthened Wednesday, as a drop in oil prices boosted cost-sensitive transport and consumer stocks, while a rise in the U.S. dollar lifted exporters. Both South Korea and Australia climbed 2 percent.
Core inflation in Australia accelerated to its fastest annual pace in 17 years last quarter as the cost of fuel, financing and rents all climbed, suggesting interest rates would have to stay high for some time to come.
Macquarie Group, Australia's top investment bank, said it had a solid start to the 2009 fiscal year, allaying worries about its business model and driving its shares up 10 percent in their biggest one-day rise in nearly four months.
Asian stocks outside of Japan slipped Tuesday after a landslide of lower-than-expected U.S. corporate results sparked fears of a pullback in consumer demand, boding ill for the region's exporters. But Tokyo rallied 3% higher.
Asian markets surged Monday, helped by a smaller-than-expected loss at Citigroup that provided comfort about the financial sector's stability ahead of more results this week from banks and industrial companies. Both South Korea and Australia gained over 3%.
Australia's producer prices rose by less than expected last quarter thanks to falling costs for a range of imported goods, perhaps lessening the risk of an alarmingly high reading for consumer inflation later this week.
Australian travel retailer Flight Centre confirmed its full-year pretax profit will jump about 40 percent, in line with its previous forecast, boosted by healthy global sales, and forecast further growth in 2009.
French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis will pay $544 million for the vitamins business of Australia's Primary Health Care, a source close to the deal said on Monday.