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The Australian dollar jumped to a 24-year peak against the U.S. currency on Wednesday after higher-than-expected inflation data for the first quarter left investors facing an extended period of tight monetary policy.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Australia's third-biggest lender, reported a 14 percent fall in first-half core profit due to higher bad debt charges and said it expected higher levels of new problem loans.
Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers, facing increased debt refinancing costs for its $17 billion acquisition of retailer Coles, said it would sell new shares to raise $2.33 billion.
Shares in Australian logistics firm Brambles fell almost 18% on Friday on concern it may lose business after it said U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores was reviewing the way it sources pallets.
Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, reported on Wednesday a 10.2 percent rise in third-quarter sales, boosted by higher food and petrol prices and reiterated it expectedfull-year sales growth of between 8 and 10 percent.
QBE Insurance Group, Australia's biggest insurer by premium income, said on Tuesday smaller rival Insurance Australia Group had rejected a $6.8 billion takeover proposal.
Shares in Virgin Blue Holdings fell 18.5% to a record low on Monday after Australia's second-biggest airline warned its profit would more than halve as it faces higher fuel costs and competition.
Shares in Australian gaming firms Tabcorp and Tatts Group slumped on Friday, a day after an Australian state government stripped them of their duopoly in gaming machines, cutting revenues by up to half.
Resource-hungry China may be planning to buy a more than 9 percent stake in BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, to gain influence over its proposed takeover of rival Rio Tinto, The Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Australia's trade deficit blew out to a record in February as bad weather and supply bottlenecks dented exports of coal and iron ore, while solid business spending at home kept imports near all-time highs.
Shares in Australia's Consolidated Media Holdings were placed on a trading halt on Monday as Lachlan Murdoch, son of media magnate Rupert, and Australian tycoon James Packer prepared to update investors on takeover plans.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said on Monday it expected much higher bad debt provisions in the first-half of fiscal 2008, reflecting difficult conditions facing Australian firms amid the global credit crunch.
Australia's top central banker said on Friday there were signs that domestic demand was cooling in a way that would help restrain inflation, suggesting he thought interest rates had risen enough for now.
Australia's central bank was still concerned that interest rates might not be high enough to restrain inflation when it hiked rates to a 12-year high earlier this month, minutes of the policy meeting showed on Tuesday.
Billionaire Australian investor Solomon Lew on Monday offered to buy clothing retailer Just Group, valuing it at up to $824 million and sending its shares up as much as 12%.
Australia's Virgin Blue Holdings said on Monday its new airline, V Australia, planned to start daily flights between Sydney and Los Angeles from December.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd promised not to retreat into a new era of protectionism on Thursday in response to the global financial crisis, and urged other governments to hold their nerve.
Australia's top central banker on Thursday said turmoil in global financial markets had been "quite unsettling", but Australia's financial system was in good shape to deal with the fallout.
Upmarket Australian department store chain David Jones said first-half underlying profit jumped 25 percent, helped by buoyant Christmas sales, and maintained its forecast for the rest of the year.
National Australia Bank, Australia's top lender by assets, is in talks to buy Citigroup's Australian retail broking business to expand back into stockbroking, the Australian Financial Review reported on Wednesday.