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Australia's trade deficit ballooned 41 percent in January as strong domestic demand sucked in imports while bad weather and supply bottlenecks crimped export growth.
Trading in the shares of Australian publishing company Consolidated Media Holdings was halted on Thursday amid speculation funding for a buyout offer from a consortium backed by Lachlan Murdoch was in doubt.
Australia's economy expanded at its slowest pace in a year last quarter but only because strength in consumer and government spending was tempered by a big drag from the country's trade deficit.
A unit of Macquarie Group, Australia's largest investment bank, said on Wednesday it will significantly reduce its Australian residential mortgage business because of high funding costs.
Tuesday's edition of CNBC's Cash Flow featured technical analyst Brandon Wendell, senior instructor at the Online Trading Academy. Due to time constraints, Brandon was not able to chart all e-mail requests on air. But, we are pleased to have him chart requests for zinc, QBE and BHP Billiton exclusively for CNBC.com.
Australia's central bank on Tuesday raised interest rates to a 12-year peak of 7.25 percent as it fought to keep inflation under control, but noted tentative signs the red-hot economy might be cooling.
Australian miners Oxiana and Zinifex plan to merge in an $10.7 billion deal to create the world's No. 2 zinc producer. A merger of the two mid-tier miners would create a diversified mining company with operations in Australia and Asia, and sizeable production of copper, lead, gold and silver.
Australia's troubled Centro Properties Group said it has received expressions of interest for two of its funds as it seeks to raise cash to repay a heavy debt load, and reported a $1.06 billion first-half loss.
Westfield Group, the world's top shopping mall owner, reported an 11.6 percent rise in net operating profit for 2007, slightly below market forecasts, driven by rental growth at its Australian malls.
QBE Insurance Group, Australia's top insurer by premium income, missed market estimates with a 30 percent rise in full-year profit because of negative currency movements, sending its shares down more than 13 percent.
Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, beat forecasts with a 28.1 percent jump in first-half profit on strong growth in food and liquor sales, and outlined plans to ramp up investment in its stores.
Allco Finance Group, a troubled Australian asset manager, said it planned to sell its non-core assets, following a business restructure, in order to cut its debt due to high funding costs.
Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers beat forecasts with a 53 percent rise in first-half profit, boosted by its acquisition of the Coles supermarket chain, sending its shares up as much as 6 percent.
Caltex Australia, the country's only listed oil refiner and marketer, on Friday reported a lower-than-expected 3.25 percent rise in net profit, as lower refining margins and a strong Australian dollar offset record production volumes.
Brambles Ltd the world's biggest supplier of pallets, reported a 10 percent rise in first-half profit and said it expected solid sales and profit growth this year, sending its shares up as much as 8 percent.
Qantas Airways, Australia's biggest airline, doubled its first-half profit, beating market estimates and said it was on track to achieve at least a 40 percent rise in full-year earnings.
Telstra, Australia's largest phone company, beat expectations with a 13 percent increase in first-half profit, helped by rapid mobile phone and broadband subscriber growth, and lifted its 2008 guidance.
The President of China's state-owned Chinalco remained remarkably cool under pressure during a Sydney press briefing earlier this month despite the figurative and literal glare of the media spotlight.
Foster's Group, Australia's biggest alcoholic drinks company, posted its slowest growth in first-half net profit in several years on Tuesday, as U.S. wine sales slumped and the strong Aussie dollar crimped earnings.
AMP Ltd, Australia's top pension administrator, missed estimates with a 10 percent rise in full-year underlying profit, but said it was well positioned to grow despite current market volatility.