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A private gauge of Australian inflation rose sharply in December as fuel, borrowing costs and rents all climbed, heightening the risk that official inflation figures could be alarming enough to warrant a rate hike.
Australia's Alumina cut its full-year underlying earnings forecast by 17 percent on Thursday, citing lower aluminum prices, a higher Australian dollar and increased costs.
Australia's retail sales rose by more than expected in November as strong growth in jobs and incomes offset increases in interest rates and petrol prices, suggesting rates may yet have to rise again to cool demand. Wednesday's government data showed retail sales climbed 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted in November to A$20.07 billion ($17.6 billion). That handily beat forecasts of a 0.5 percent gain while sales increased by 8.1 percent on the year, the equal highest increase since June 2004.
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Babcock & Brown, an Australian investment and advisory firm, raised its earnings per share growth forecast to at least 45 percent on Monday, boosting its shares as much as 5.5 percent.
Australia's largest steelmaker BlueScope Steel said it had agreed to buy U.S. steelmaker IMSA Steel Corp for $730 million, accelerating its North American expansion.
Shares of Centro Properties Group, which owns and manages 700 shopping malls in the United States, rebounded as much as 85 percent on Wednesday after the company reassured investors it was still viable, helping it recover from two days of heavy falls.
Shares in Australia's Centro Properties Group dived by more than 50 percent on Tuesday, a day after losing three-quarters of their value after it said it is having trouble refinancing $1.1 billion in debt.
Australia's Centro Properties Group, which manages U.S. malls with tenants from TJ Maxx to Wal-Mart, warned it is having trouble refinancing $1.1 billion in debt and may have to restructure because of fallout from the U.S. subprime crisis.
Australian zinc producer Zinifex launched an all-cash bid worth up to $668 million for nickel miner Allegiance Mining, the latest in a hectic round of industry consolidation.
The board of New Zealand's Auckland International Airport said shareholders should reject a $1.4 billion partial takeover offer from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, because it undervalued the company.
Australian consumer sentiment improved in December as relief over the central bank's decision not to raise interest rates enhanced confidence in the economy, a survey showed on Wednesday.
Shares in Australian iron ore prospector Midwest Corp surged over 11 percent on Monday after it received a US$1 billion cash takeover proposal from China's Sinosteel at the end of last week, which trumped an earlier offer from Murchison Metals.
Australian infrastructure firm SP Ausnet pulled out of a plan to pay $7.3 billion for assets of former energy firm Alinta, blaming a downturn in capital markets, sending its shares up 9 percent on Monday.
Rupert Murdoch's younger son James is to return to News Corp. to head its Asian and European operations in a move that appears to make him heir apparent to the global media empire.
Australia cut its official forecast for 2007/08 total commodity export income on Thursday, citing the effects of the worst drought in a century on farming exports as well as a strong Australian dollar.
Australia's central bank skipped a chance to raise interest rates on Wednesday as turmoil in global credit markets clouded the outlook for the world economy, even as economic growth at home hit a three-year high.
Swiss mining group Xstrata offered A$960 million ($842 million) for Australian thermal coal producer Resource Pacific on Wednesday, rivaling an offer last month by New Hope Corp.
Australian retail sales rose less than forecast in October as consumers cut back on household goods purchases after months of heavy spending, reinforcing expectations the central bank will keep rates on hold this week.
Australia's Labor leader Kevin Rudd was sworn in as prime minister on Monday, promising to urgently sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. But Rudd said that the country was likely to miss its Kyoto target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2012.