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Asia-Pacific News Australia & New Zealand

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    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 man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    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.

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    Skepticism about plans by major central banks to tackle tight credit conditions kept Asian stocks subdued Thursday, with all of the benchmark indexes marking a loss for the day.

  • Stock investors watch stock movement at a stock exchange in Chengdu, China.

    Asian markets closed mostly lower Tuesday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to cut interest rates failed to shore-up investor confidence. South Korean and Australian markets managed to finish slightly higher, however.

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    Asian markets ended firmly in the green Tuesday in the run up to an interest-rate decision in the U.S. and following a Wall Street rally Monday as credit concerns eased. 

  • Asian markets ended mostly lower Monday as caution prevailed ahead of a U.S. central bank policy meeting due early this week. Japan closed a touch lower, but South Korea shed almost 1.4 percent.

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    Asian markets finished mostly higher Friday, as worries about a U.S. recession eased after American President George W. Bush unveiled plans aimed at stemming U.S. home-loan foreclosures. Japan closed at a four-week high, but Hong Kong and South Korea finished firmly in the red.

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    Asian markets closed mostly higher Thursday, as investors were cheered by upbeat U.S. data. Australia, South Korea and Japan all finished higher, but Singapore and China slipped into the red.

  • 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.

  • New Zealand's central bank held interest rates steady on Thursday at 8.25 percent as expected, and said it was likely to keep them there for longer than it had previously thought because of increasing inflation concerns.

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    Asian markets closed in positive territory Wednesday, with the exception of Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index, despite growing fears the U.S. economy might slip into recession. Both South Korea and Japan closed higher after spending most of the morning in negative territory.

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    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.

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    Asian markets finished mixed Tuesday as investors fretted over the health of the U.S. economy. Japan closed almost 1 percent lower, but South Korea and China made gains of almost 1 percent.

  • Asian stock markets took a breather Monday and were largely unchanged from Friday's close, after posting their best weekly gain in more than three months last week. Japan and South Korea both closed a touch lower.

  • KEVIN RUDD

    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.

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    Asian markets closed mostly higher Friday after comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke raised hopes for an interest-rate cut in December, but China's Shanghai Composite Index ended sharply lower as PetroChina and financial stocks fell.

  • Malaysian plantations to energy group Sime Darby relisted on the local market on Friday at a 36 percent premium to its indicative price, after its merger with two other palm-oil groups.

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    Asian markets ended higher across the board Thursday, as risk appetite returned to the market after comments from the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve bolstered expectations for a U.S. interest rate cut.

  • KEVIN RUDD

    Australia's centre-left Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd named Labor's first cabinet in 11 years on Thursday, appointing former academic Wayne Swan to the key economic management job as treasurer.

  • Asian markets slipped into the red Wednesday, with the exception of the Hang Seng index, paring back the modest gains made in the morning.  Japan finished down while South Korea closed over 1 percent lower.