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Asian stocks mixed Tuesday as fresh fears about the outlook for the U.S. economy offset healthy profits and orders at firms in the region, while the yen firmed as investors trimmed exposure to riskier assets.
Foster's Group, Australia's biggest alcoholic drinks company, said on Tuesday second-half net profit rose 22%, boosted by strong beer and international wine sales.
Asian stocks were stronger in the afternoon session Monday with markets taking cues from a Wall Street rally triggered by surprisingly strong economic data, while the Japanese yen weakened against the U.S. dollar as risk appetite strengthened.
Shares in Australian betting companies fell on Monday after an outbreak of equine influenza disrupted Australian horse racing.
Australia's largest supermarket chain, Woolworths, posted a 27.5% jump in full-year profit, cementing its dominant position, and said it expects 2008 earnings to grow up to 23%.
Asian stocks led by finance counters, were lower across the board in the afternoon session Friday, on concerns that problems in the U.S. housing and credit markets could push the world's biggest economy into recession. Australia, Japan and South Korea all closed down.
Australian clothing retailer Billabong International reported a 15% rise in full-year profit on Friday as it continued an international expansion, and said it expected 15% earnings per share growth in fiscal 2008.
Australian oil and gas producer Santos on Thursday reported a 29% drop in first-half net profit as record production was more than offset by a strong Australian dollar and higher depreciation.
Australian newspaper publisher Fairfax Media said on Thursday year net profit rose 10%, close to expectations, on improved performances for its digital businesses and its regional and rural publications.
Macquarie Bank will buy 30% of South Korea's No. 2 cable TV operator from Goldman Sachs, reportedly worth $970 million, and is in talks for the remaining stake, two sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters on Wednesday.
Woodside Petroleum, Australia's largest independent oil and gas producer, reported a 10.6% rise in first-half net profit on Wednesday, due to higher output, and reaffirmed its 2007 production forecast.
Australian airline Virgin Blue almost doubled its full-year earnings after attracting more corporate travelers, helping offset rising fuel bills.
BlueScope Steel, Australia's biggest steelmaker, said its full-year profit doubled on strong global demand for its flat steel products, and forecast continued healthy demand for 2008.
QBE Insurance Group, Australia's top insurer by premium income, reported a higher-than-expected first-half profit on U.S. acquisitions, and upgraded its insurance profit forecast.
Macquarie Bank, Australia's top investment bank, said on Monday it would go ahead with restructuring plans and had secured $6.4 billion in new funding to help grow its non-banking businesses.
Australia's central bank said on Friday it had intervened in foreign exchange markets overnight in an effort to restore some liquidity to the market for the Australian dollar.
Westpac Banking, Australia's fourth-biggest lender, said on Friday it had appointed Gail Kelly, the head of rival lender St. George Bank, as its new chief executive.
Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers on Thursday outlined its restructuring plans for takeover target retailer Coles Group, planning to create three new business divisions and targeting supermarket store sales growth of 3% - 3.5%.
Australian mortgage lender RAMS Home Loans Group said on Thursday it had extended the refinancing period for A$6.17 billion (US$5.1 billion) in maturing notes, slicing its share value in half.
Qantas Airways, Australia's largest airline, posted a 50% rise in annual earnings as expected on Thursday as passenger demand offset higher fuel costs and announced $820 million share buyback.