Patrick Bennett, FX Strategist at CIBC discusses his outlook for monetary policy in Australia.» Read More
National Australia Bank, Australia's top lender by assets, has taken the unusual decision to raise home loan rates out of step with a central bank rate move, in response to higher borrowing costs.
Asian stock indexes finished lower across the board Thursday, with the exception of the Shanghai Composite Index, as investors were spooked by the surprise contraction in U.S. manufacturing, and the impact of record oil prices on global growth.
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Australia's Centro Properties Group, which owns more than 700 U.S. shopping centers, has attracted several possible bidders for all or part of the debt-burdened company, including U.S. private equity funds.
Asian markets kicked off the new year under pressure on worries about a slowing global economy. But oil and gold prices continued to edge higher approaching record highs.
Centro Properties Group, Australia's second high-profile victim of a global credit crunch, said it was seeking expressions of interest from potential buyers for all or part of the business.
Asian stocks were mostly higher Monday in thin holiday trading, with most investors away to usher in the new year. But Pakistan's shares slid in its first reaction to the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto whose death last week plunged the country into one of its deepest crises.
Most Asian markets closed lower Friday as investors were rattled by the assassination of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, and data pointed to continuing economic weakness in the United States.
RAMS Home Loans Group Ltd, Australia's first high profile victim of the subprime mortgage crisis, said it had extended two funding facilities worth A$750 million ($658 million) that had been due to expire on Dec. 31.
Asian closed mixed, with some boosted by resources companies such as BHP Billiton as oil and commodities prices firmed. But Tokyo closed down, staying on course to end the year as the world's worst performing major stock market.
Asian stocks were mostly higher in the afternoon session Wednesday. Trade was thin as many investors were away for Christmas holidays. Japan closed higher be South Korea declined. Other Asian markets including Australia and Hong Kong were shut, and many markets in Europe will also be closed.
Japanese stocks closed at their highest in nearly two weeks Tuesday as investors picked up recently pressured shares such as Sony, encouraged by a softening yen and after news from Merrill Lynch prompted a rally on Wall Street.
Asian markets rallied on the Christmas Eve Monday, lifted by technology and bank stocks as stronger-than-expected U.S. consumer spending calmed fears the world's top economy was heading into a recession.
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.
Asian markets closed higher across the board Friday, having got a lift from technology stocks and year-end program buying by funds. Most of the major indexes finished over 1 percent higher, while the Hang Seng gained 2.3 percent.
Asian markets closed mixed Thursday with Australia slipping into the red after initially rising in the morning and South Korea paring back gains to trade flat. But Chinese shares managed to move higher with property stocks on the advance.
Asian stocks were mixed in the afternoon session Wednesday, as markets failed to sustain an earlier recovery. Japan shed 1 percent despite spending most of the session in positive territory. Australia also closed lower.
Asian stocks seesawed in volatile trade Tuesday with financial counters and exporters taking a roller-coaster ride. Japan closed slightly lower though the market was well over 1 percent lower at one point. South Korea finished the session up 1.2 percent.
Asian markets were sharply lower at the end of trading Monday, with most of the benchmark indexes over 3 percent down at the close. Financial stocks sank as rising U.S. inflation lessened expectations for rate cuts in the world's biggest economy.
A credit ratings downgrade for U.S. banking giant Citigroup sent Asian financial stocks lower Friday, while the yen sagged after Japanese business sentiment dropped to two-year lows.