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Australia & New Zealand

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  • Australian businesses reported strong trading conditions last quarter, generating more demand for labor and leaving the economy with little spare capacity, a survey showed on Tuesday.

  • The Australian dollar climbed to a fresh 17-year peak against the U.S. dollar on Monday, buoyed by gains against the Japanese yen after the weekend Group of Seven ministers meeting appeared unconcerned about carry trades.

  • Australian Jobless Rate Falls to 31-Year Low Wednesday, 11 Apr 2007 | 11:06 PM ET

    Australia's jobless rate fell to three-decade lows in March while employers took on more full-time workers in a sign of underlying strength in the economy which may yet require a restraining rise in interest rates.

  • Australia's Coles Expects Rival Bid, Shares Jump Tuesday, 10 Apr 2007 | 12:42 AM ET

    A bidding war is looming for Australia's Coles Group after the company said a Kohlberg Kravis Roberts-led consortium was confident of topping a $16.1 billion bid for theretailer, hoisting its shares to a record.

  • KKR Still in the Race for Australia's Coles Tuesday, 3 Apr 2007 | 9:13 PM ET

    Kohlberg Kravis Roberts will still consider a bid for Australia's Coles Group, despite a $16 billion offer for the retailer by conglomerate Wesfarmers, sources familiar with the situation said.

  • Australia's central bank skipped a chance to raise interest rates on Wednesday, confounding speculation it would tighten to cool domestic demand as insurance against future inflationary pressures.

  • Australia's Trade Deficit Steady as Exports Improve Tuesday, 3 Apr 2007 | 12:52 AM ET

    Australia's trade deficit was little changed at $687 million in February, defying expectations of a widening, as export growth matched imports in what might be a sign of a long-awaited export upturn.

  • Australian Sales Surge Rings Rate Alarm Sunday, 1 Apr 2007 | 11:17 PM ET

    Australian retail sales surged 0.9% in February, blowing past market market forecasts and heightening the risk of another rise in interest rates, perhaps as early as this week.

  • A China Affair Friday, 30 Mar 2007 | 5:04 AM ET

    The global selloff throughout world stock markets triggered by the brief but sharp fall in the Shanghai Composite Index at the end of February has stirred up even more interest in already hot Chinese markets. This week, "A Fund Affair" features AMP Capital's China Growth Fund, which gives the investor rare access to China 'A' shares.

  • Alinta Extends Trading Halt, Bid Talks Continue Tuesday, 27 Mar 2007 | 8:56 PM ET

    Australian energy infrastructure group Alinta, extended its share trading halt on Wednesday and said it was still in talks with potential bidders.

  • Key Qantas Shareholder Says It Will Not Accept Offer Friday, 23 Mar 2007 | 12:51 AM ET

    Qantas Airways shares slipped early Friday on reports UBS Global Asset Management was reportedly moving to increase its holding in the Australian carrier, increasing its power of blocking a $9 billion takeover offer.

  • Australia Jobs Growth Hits Sweet Spot in February Wednesday, 14 Mar 2007 | 10:15 PM ET

    Australia's employers created a solid 22,000 new jobs in February while more people were enticed into the labor force, boding well for consumer demand and economic growth this quarter.

  • Qantas Shares Fall on Buyout Opposition Concerns Tuesday, 13 Mar 2007 | 12:35 AM ET

    Shares in Australia's Qantas Airways fell to a three-month low on Tuesday amid growing concern some key shareholders may block an $8.7 billion buyout bid for the airline.

  • Australia Central Bank Steers Steady Course Tuesday, 6 Mar 2007 | 7:55 PM ET

    Australia's central bank left interest rates unchanged at 6.25% on Wednesday, a decision widely expected given growing confidence among officials that past tightenings were working to restrain inflation.

  • Australian Inflation Gauge Rises in February Sunday, 4 Mar 2007 | 10:18 PM ET

    A private-sector measure of Australian inflation rose 0.2% in February as housing rents recorded their biggest increase in the history of the series.

  • Australia Manufacturing Activity Jumps in February Wednesday, 28 Feb 2007 | 7:39 PM ET

    Australian manufacturing activity expanded sharply in February, driven by a strong turnaround in foodstuffs and faster growth in the coal and petroleum sectors, a private survey reported on Thursday.

  • Interest Rate Rise Likely in Australia Tuesday, 20 Feb 2007 | 10:40 PM ET

    Australia's top central banker said that interest rates were more likely to rise than fall in the months ahead, though he was more confident that past rate increases would contain inflation.

  • Analysts: Alcoa Takeover Bid Unlikely Wednesday, 14 Feb 2007 | 3:05 AM ET

    Potential takeover bids of Alcoa by one of two Australian-based companies reportedly considering such a move were unlikely because of the U.S. aluminum producer's company dynamics, cost factors and increasing Chinese competition, analysts said Wednesday.

  • Australia's Jobless Rate Hits New 30-Year Low Wednesday, 7 Feb 2007 | 9:32 PM ET

    Australian employment dipped unexpectedly in January, but the jobless rate hit a new 30-year low of 4.5%, keeping alive the risk that a lack of suitable labor will eventually generate wage and price pressures.

  • BHP Billiton Profit Up 41%, Goodyear to Retire Wednesday, 7 Feb 2007 | 10:45 AM ET

    World number one miner BHP Billiton said Chief Executive Chip Goodyear will step down by the end of 2007, as it posted a 41% rise in first-half net profit and added $10 billion in share buybacks.