Financial News from AAP

  • Abbott urges Labor to back budget bills AAP - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott is urging Labor to support the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business when budget bills are voted on this week. The House of Representatives will meet on Monday when the budget appropriation bills are debated and Mr Abbott wants the opposition to "work with us". "We all know that the Labor government got us into a mess - this is chance for the Labor party to be part of the solution rather than the problem," Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.

  • MP glad committee won't look at iron ore AAP - 1 hour 31 minutes ago

    Tony Abbott's parliamentary secretary doesn't think an inquiry into iron ore would have found the truth of what is happening with resources pricing. West Australian Liberal Christian Porter has blasted the work of parliamentary committees, saying he's glad the government won't ask one to look at iron ore prices - as some crossbench senators and Fortescue metals boss Andrew Forrest wanted - because they're "not very good bodies at finding the truth of a situation". "What passes for evidence before parliamentary committees is largely hearsay and certainly just views and opinions layered on each other," Mr Porter told Network Ten on Sunday.

  • Fed budget fails fairness test: ACOSS AAP - Sat, May 23, 2015 10:18 AM AEST

    The Abbott Government's budget measures will cost Australian families and low income earners $15 billion, a new report shows. By keeping most of its 2014 savings measures and delivering new cuts, the Federal Government will rip the money from basic services and supports over four years, according to a Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) report released on Saturday. The figure includes $6 billion in cuts to family payments and a $1 billion decrease on health spending.

  • Qld treasurer denies talking down economy AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:39 PM AEST
    Qld treasurer denies talking down economy

    Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt became the latest, after telling parliament on Thursday the state economy had slid into recession in the second half of 2014. Mr Pitt was having a crack at the previous Liberal National Party government, which lost the January election, but his comments have backfired. Business groups and economists say only Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, rather than state treasury data, can be trusted and the opposition accuses Mr Pitt of recklessly talking down the economy.

  • $A higher in quiet trade amid USD weakness AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:28 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar is higher as the US dollar weakened amid speculation about when the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates. The Australian dollar was worth 79.12 US cents at 1700 AEST on Friday, up from 79.00 US cents on Thursday. NAB senior currency strategist Emma Lawson said the local currency gained around a third of a per cent on Friday against the US dollar which was consistent with other currencies such as the New Zealand dollar and euro.

  • Banks weigh on Aust share market AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 5:08 PM AEST

    The share market has finished flat after weakness among the big four banks offset strong gains among energy stocks. The market had opened higher thanks to strong leads from the US and with stronger oil prices lifting energy stocks. "There seems to be three factors: the banks have just gone ex-dividend, there's been bond market volatility which the banks are quite susceptible to and ongoing capital concerns," he said.

  • Aust bonds firmer in line with Treasuries AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 4:41 PM AEST

    The Australian bond market is firmer as traders take their cues from US Treasuries. Continued weak economic data out of the US has traders speculating that the Federal Reserve could delay lifting the cash ...

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 4:20 PM AEST

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at close on Friday: BHP - BHP BILLITON - up one cent, or 0.03 per cent, to $29.25 FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - down one cent, or 0.47 per cent, to $2.11 ...

  • Aust shares close flat AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 4:17 PM AEST

    Australian shares have finished flat as all eyes turn to a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

  • Govt risked jobs with ore inquiry: Shorten AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 3:41 PM AEST
    Govt risked jobs with ore inquiry: Shorten

    Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten says the government put jobs and investment at risk by toying with the idea of an inquiry into iron ore. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has scrapped the idea after talks with industry stakeholders, despite last week supporting an inquiry into the sharp drop in ore prices and its impact on government revenues. "We've seen the government carry on for a week about a phantom iron ore inquiry ... but nowhere have I seen Tony Abbott or Joe Hockey talk about the jobs of the actual miners who have lost their jobs," Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

  • InvoCare withdraws CEO termination package AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 3:24 PM AEST

    Funeral homes and cemeteries operator InvoCare has withdrawn a proposed termination benefits package for former chief executive Andrew Smith following concerns by some larger shareholders. Mr Smith, who spent more than six years as chief executive of InvoCare, left on April 30 after the company announced in December 2014 that it would not extend his term. Invocare was to have put a termination benefits package for Mr Smith to shareholders for their consideration at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Friday.

  • Oroton loses its shine AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 2:35 PM AEST
    Oroton loses its shine

    Shares in Oroton have nosedived after the luxury fashion retailer scrapped its forecast for earnings growth. The company had been expecting earnings in the second half of its fiscal year to be higher than in the same period a year earlier, but third quarter earnings fell by more than $2 million. Oroton now expects its full year earnings will be down 66 per cent on the prior year, due to the weaker than expected second half performance and the impact of a falling Australian dollar.

  • WIN shuts Mildura, Mackay newsrooms AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 2:33 PM AEST

    The WIN television network is shutting local newsrooms in Mildura and Mackay. Newsroom staff have been told they will be redeployed within the network, but the closures are due to problems with commercial viability. The final local bulletins in Mildura and Mackay will air on Friday.

  • Middle class struggle for retirement AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 2:01 PM AEST

    It's no secret that retirement security is eroding for many. "Half of today's working-age households are unlikely to have enough resources to maintain their standard of living once they retire," according to the US' National Retirement Risk Index, compiled by Boston College's Centre for Retirement Research. "It's easy to put it on people, but at the same time, that money is haemorrhaging to the top half per cent," said Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works, a Washington-based group that supports the expansion and protection of Social Security.

  • ABS figures will show QLD recession: Pitt AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 1:05 PM AEST
    ABS figures will show QLD recession: Pitt

    Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt believes upcoming Australian Bureau of Statistics figures will support his claim the state slipped into recession in the second half of 2014. Business groups and the opposition have cast doubt on claims Mr Pitt made in parliament on Thursday that Queensland had dipped into a recession last year.

  • Twiggy says Vale a responsible producer AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 1:02 PM AEST

    Fortescue Metals chairman Andrew Forrest says Brazilian iron ore giant Vale is a responsible producer compared to Australian rivals Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. Vale, the world's biggest iron ore producer, does not agree with the current price war and plans to take up to 30 million tonnes of the commodity off the market, Mr Forrest said. Mr Forrest says BHP and Rio are manipulating the market to drive out smaller players, but his call for a parliamentary inquiry into the industry have been rejected by the federal government.

  • ISIS Power unplugs from name AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 1:01 PM AEST

    ISIS Power, a suburban Chicago manufacturer of car electrical wiring systems, isn't a terrorist organisation. That's what founder Jay Harris has been telling customers and the curious alike for months. ...

  • $A higher in quiet trading session AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 12:49 PM AEST

    The Australian dollar has ticked higher as the US dollar weakens amid speculation about when the US Federal Reserve will hike interest rates. The Australian dollar was worth 79.12 US cents at 1200 AEST ...

  • The week in numbers to May 22 AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 12:35 PM AEST

    The big and small numbers that grabbed attention - or should have - in the business world over the past week. Monday: $10.9 billion - BHP Billiton spin-off South32 has became Australia's third largest ...

  • Aust share market almost flat AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 12:13 PM AEST

    The share market has pulled back from a solid start to be relatively flat at noon. IG market strategist Stan Shamu said weakness among the banks had changed the direction of the market. At 1200 AEST, oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum had gained 75 cents at $35.62, and Santos had advanced 12 cents to $8.03.

  • LPG conversion could bring jobs to Geelong AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 11:09 AM AEST

    Geelong could become the nation's centre for LPG conversion, if a government study gives it the thumbs up. As Ford and Alcoa close their plants in the area over the next few years, the government will work to find skilled jobs for the people of Geelong, Treasurer Tim Pallas says. Mr Pallas said while the plan could be a major opportunity for Geelong, there was no point doing it if there wasn't a demand in the community.

  • Oroton slashes its earnings forecast AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 11:00 AM AEST
    Oroton slashes its earnings forecast

    Luxury fashion retailer Oroton has scrapped its forecast of earnings growth, sending its share price to six year lows. The company had been expecting earnings in the second half of its fiscal year to be higher than in the same period a year earlier, but third quarter earnings fell by more than $2 million. Oroton now expects its full year earnings will be down 66 per cent on the prior year, due to the weaker than expected second half performance and the impact of a falling Australian dollar.

  • Resources lead market higher AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 10:59 AM AEST

    The share market has opened higher, continuing the positive momentum from Thursday after positive overseas leads. The big miners and energy stocks led the market higher. "We got the leads from overseas which were okay, but I think more importantly than that, it's carrying on the momentum that we saw yesterday," Phillip Capital senior client adviser Michael Heffernan said.

  • Oroton cuts earnings forecast AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 10:40 AM AEST
    Oroton cuts earnings forecast

    Luxury fashion retailer Oroton has cut its earnings forecast as its decision to end heavy discounting has cost more than expected. Oroton has therefore scrapped its forecast of second half earnings growth. "Our strategy to elevate our core Oroton brand, in particular to bring a halt to the heavy clearance activity and friends and family type sales that the brand had become reliant on, has cost more than expected," chief executive Mark Newman said.

  • Abbott wants to unlock 'latent energy' AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 10:26 AM AEST

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants his "have a go" budget to unlock hidden energy in the Australian economy. Spruiking the budget in Tasmania on Friday, Mr Abbott wants Australians to take advantage ...

  • Aust shares open higher AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 10:24 AM AEST
    Aust shares open higher

    The share market has opened higher, driven by the mining and energy sectors. At 1020 AEST on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 24.1 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,686.4, while the broader All ...

  • Qld treasurer stands by recession claim AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 9:35 AM AEST

    Queensland's treasurer is almost certain Australian Bureau of Statistics figures will show his state was in recession in the second half of last year. Curtis Pitt told parliament on Thursday the state experienced two quarters of negative growth in the second half of last year, according to treasury figures. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland and the opposition has cast doubt on Mr Pitt's numbers as the ABS is yet to release figures for that period.

  • McDonald's CEO 'proud' of pay hike AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 9:05 AM AEST
    McDonald's CEO 'proud' of pay hike

    McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook says he's "incredibly proud" of a recent decision to bump pay for some workers, even as hundreds of protesters outside called on the company to do more ahead of its annual shareholder meeting. Easterbrook, who stepped into his role in March, is fighting to revive sluggish sales and convince people that McDonald's is a "modern, progressive burger company". Easterbrook said at the meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois, that he was proud of the decision announced last month to raise pay for workers at company-owned stores to $1 above the local minimum wage, as well as offer help with college tuition to workers at all stores.

  • Commodities markets summary AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 8:06 AM AEST

    Oil prices sank along with the euro after the European Central Bank forecast that the eurozone would continue to contract next year and only return to growth in 2014.

  • $A edges lower AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:37 AM AEST

    The Australian dollar is relatively steady after a quiet night of trade on currency markets. At 0730 AEST on Thursday, the local unit was trading at 78.98 US cents, down from 79.00 US cents on Thursday. ...

  • Govt 'monstered' by miners: Xenophon AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:34 AM AEST
    Govt 'monstered' by miners: Xenophon

    Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has accused the mining lobby of censoring parliament after the government ruled out a parliamentary inquiry into iron ore prices. The government has been "monstered" ...

  • Govt bows to miner lobbyists: Twiggy AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:26 AM AEST

    The coalition government has bowed to "plane loads" of lobbyists from miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest says. Treasurer Joe Hockey has ruled out a parliamentary ...

  • International markets roundup AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:17 AM AEST

    A roundup of trading on major world markets: NEW YORK - The S&P 500 has finished at a new record following strong earnings from Best Buy and news that CVS Health would acquire senior pharmacy services ...

  • Share market set to for positive start AAP - Fri, May 22, 2015 7:04 AM AEST

    The Australian market looks set to open higher after Wall Street hit another record high. At 0700 AEST on Friday, the June share price index futures contract was up 19 points at 5,685. Strong earnings ...

  • First forced redundancies leave Holden AAP - Thu, May 21, 2015 8:16 PM AEST
    First forced redundancies leave Holden

    The first assembly line workers forced to take redundancy packages at Holden have left the car maker's Adelaide plant. More will receive this grim news over the next two years as the countdown continues to the closure of Holden's manufacturing facilities in 2017. About 10 to 15 white-collar workers were also thought to have suffered the same fate on Wednesday.