Top Stories

  • Retail spending to stay solid AAP - 1 hour 28 minutes ago
    Retail spending to stay solid

    New retail spending figures are expected to show a third straight month of stronger activity at the cash register. Retail sales are expected to have risen 0.4 per cent in July, though that will be slower ...

  • Data to show impact of market volatility AAP - 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    New figures will gauge what effect the global financial market ructions in early July had on Australians' spending habits. In the first few days of July markets tumbled faced with the double whammy of a debt default in Greece and a slump in the Chinese share market, which triggered a steep decline in Australian consumer confidence.

  • SMEs back penalty rates cut proposal AAP - 4 hours ago

    Small business has backed a Productivity Commission recommendation calling for more flexible workplace arrangements. A survey by business software provider MYOB found 40 per cent of retail and hospitality businesses believed a reduction in weekend penalty rates, as sought by the commission in its recently released interim workplace relations study, will bring down costs. MYOB boss Tim Reed said while the majority of the 400 small and medium-sized enterprises surveyed may not be directly affected by a reduction in weekend penalty rates, they fully support the proposal.

  • Top CEOs earn even more than reported AAP - 4 hours ago

    Current company reporting practices may only reveal "the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to senior executive pay in Australia. The collective pay packet of the ASX100's 10 highest paid chief ...

  • Asia doing pretty well despite China woes AAP - 6 hours ago
    Asia doing pretty well despite China woes

    International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde says Asian economies are doing "pretty well" despite the volatility created by China's slowdown and unease on global financial markets. A fresh round of volatility shook Asian and European stocks on Wednesday, as further evidence of slowing growth in China's economy overshadowed global markets. Financial markets have gyrated recently on the China concerns, with emerging economies and their currencies taking a beating.

  • IMF head: Global growth likely to be weak AAP - 6 hours ago
    IMF head: Global growth likely to be weak

    Global economic growth is likely to be weaker than earlier expected and will remain at moderate levels, the head of the International Monetary Fund says. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday that Asia was still expected to lead global growth, but the pace was slowing and could sag further because of recent financial market volatility. Speaking in a lecture at the University of Indonesia, Lagarde said the global economic situation would have a significant impact on developing countries, including Indonesia.

  • Barnett blames boom for poor WA tourism AAP - 9 hours ago
    Barnett blames boom for poor WA tourism

    West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has blamed poor tourism figures on the state's geographical isolation and the mining boom muscling visitors out of hotels. Mr Barnett said an influx of mining workers paired with the state's relative isolation were the main factors for WA having the lowest tourist spending growth in Australia. "When mining activity was at its peak two to three years ago, you could barely get a hotel room in Perth," Mr Barnett said.

  • Growth won't get jobless rate down: Bowen AAP - 10 hours ago
    Growth won't get jobless rate down: Bowen

    Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has warned that two per cent annual economic growth is not enough to get the jobless rate down. Mr Bowen was commentating after the latest national accounts showed the economy grew by just 0.2 per cent in the June quarter, compared to a 0.9 per cent rise in the March quarter. "Last quarter the treasurer ... said anyone who warned of weakening growth was a clown, well Joe Hockey is a ringmaster in economic decline," he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

  • US sees steady growth in July-August: Fed Beige Book AFP - 10 hours ago
    US sees steady growth in July-August: Fed Beige Book

    The US economy stuck to its modest-to-moderate pace in recent months but companies complained that China's slowdown and the strong dollar were hurting business, a Federal Reserve report said Wednesday. ...

  • $A dips below 70 US cents - twice AAP - 11 hours ago

    The Australian dollar also hit two week lows against the Japanese yen and the euro. ThinkForex senior markets analyst Matt Simpson said the local economic growth figures made a major impact on financial markets on Wednesday. "When GDP came in below expectations today the Australian dollar wasted no time selling off across the board," he said.

  • Volkswagen set to extend CEO's contact until 2018 AFP - 11 hours ago
    Volkswagen set to extend CEO's contact until 2018

    German auto giant Volkswagen said on Wednesday that key members of its supervisory board want to extend the contract of the carmaker's chief executive Martin Winterkorn until 2018. The six-member steering committee "voted unanimously" to propose to the 20-strong supervisory board at its meeting on September 25 that Winterkorn be offered "a new contract until December 31, 2018," the group said in a statement. The steering committee comprises six of the most influential members of VW's supervisory board, including the head of the general works committee, the leader of the mighty IG Metall metalworkers' union and the head of the regional state of Lower Saxony where the carmaker is based.

  • German new car sales up in August AFP - 11 hours ago
    German new car sales up in August

    New car registrations in Germany, a key measure of demand in one of the most important sectors of Europe's top economy, rose in August, data showed on Wednesday. A total of 226,300 new cars were registered last month, an increase of 6.2 percent compared with the figure for the same month last year, according to data compiled by the federal transport office KBA and released by the VDIK carmakers' federation.

  • European Commission approves Shell's purchase of BG Group AFP - 11 hours ago
    European Commission approves Shell's purchase of BG Group

    The European Commission gave its approval Wednesday of Royal Dutch Shell's planned acquisition of Britain's BG Group in a deal that must also be cleared by Australian and Chinese regulators. The Commission said the planned £47-billion (64-billion-euro, $71.9-billion) hook-up of Shell and energy group BG "would not raise competition concerns" in either their oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG) activities. "The transaction was cleared as it will not grant Shell market power in oil and gas exploration, LNG liquefaction or LNG wholesale supply.

  • Australian market closes slightly higher AAP - 11 hours ago

    The Australian share market has finished in positive territory following a rally in China, but uncertainty on global markets continues. OptionsXPress analyst Ben LeBrun said Chinese government funds appeared to be propping up equities ahead of a national remembrance day in China on Thursday.

  • Greece raises 1.4 bn euros in six-month treasury bill sale AFP - 11 hours ago
    Greece raises 1.4 bn euros in six-month treasury bill sale

    Greece raised Wednesday 1.137 billion euros ($1.280 billion) in an auction of six-month treasury bills at the same 2.97 percent interest rate it last sold them at last month, the Greek Public Debt Management Agency said. Since the last auction on August 5, Athens and its international creditors agreed a third huge international bailout for the debt-stricken country, worth 86 billion euros over three years. Wednesday's auction of 875 million euros of 6-month T-bills was over-subscribed by a ratio of 1.3.

  • Aust bonds weaker in directionless trade AAP - 11 hours ago

    The Australian bond market is weaker despite the local equities market spending most of the day in negative territory. National Australia Bank head of interest rate strategy Skye Masters said bond futures ...

  • Hilton shares 'sharing economy' with Uber AAP - 11 hours ago
    Hilton shares 'sharing economy' with Uber

    Hilton is hailing the ride sharing service Uber to help guests reach its hotels and then explore the city where they are staying. The companies on Tuesday said Hilton guests will be able to set up automatic notifications to request Uber rides to and from the chain's hotels worldwide. Members of the company's HHonors program also will be able to use a digital guide of restaurants and nightlife spots most frequented by Uber riders.

  • Netflix starts Japan service in global push AFP - 11 hours ago
    Netflix starts Japan service in global push

    Netflix on Wednesday launched its service in Japan, the latest move in the US-based online streaming giant's global push as market competition heats up. The company said it has partnered with Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank in a joint bid to tap 36 million households with high-speed Internet access. The announcement in Tokyo was attended by Netflix founder Reed Hastings.

  • Rupert Murdoch takes a pay cut AAP - 11 hours ago
    Rupert Murdoch takes a pay cut

    Rupert Murdoch and the head of his global media group News Corp have had millions of dollars trimmed from their annual pay packets. Mr Murdoch's remuneration package for his role as executive chairman fell by almost $US3.7 million ($A5.27 million) to $US5 million ($A7.12 million) in the 2014/15 financial year. News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson's pay was cut by $US2 million ($A2.85 million) to $US10.3 million ($A14.66 million).

  • Google refines logo AAP - 12 hours ago
    Google refines logo

    Google is refining its famous logo as it prepares to become a part of a new holding company called Alphabet. The revised design, unveiled Tuesday, features the same mix of blue, red, yellow and green that Google has been using throughout its nearly 17-year history, though the hues are slightly different shades. Google also invented a new typeface, called Product Sans, that is meant to resemble the simple printing in a grade-school book.

  • Kathmandu takeover off will not be raised AAP - 12 hours ago
    Kathmandu takeover off will not be raised

    New Zealand retailer Briscoe's bid for outdoor equipment and clothing chain Kathmandu appears doomed after it said its takeover offer will not be improved. Kathmandu's directors have advised shareholders to reject Briscoe's cash-and-scrip offer of about $318 million, on the grounds it undervalues the company. "Briscoe Group considers that its offer price is attractive, and sees no reason to increase it," the homewares and sporting goods retailer said.

  • Global stock markets experience renewed volatility AFP - 12 hours ago
    Global stock markets experience renewed volatility

    Global stock markets faced renewed volatility Wednesday, as further evidence of slowing growth in China caused investors to question the prospects for continued global economic expansion. At the end of trade in Europe, London, Paris and Frankfurt similarly finished higher after see-sawing earlier in the day.

  • Millions strike in India over 'anti-labour' reforms AFP - 12 hours ago
    Millions strike in India over 'anti-labour' reforms

    Millions of workers across India went on strike Wednesday in protest at planned labour law reforms, the biggest show of strength by trade unions since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office. All India Trade Union Congress secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the response had been "magnificent" and estimated over 150 million workers participated in the strike, although this could not be independently confirmed. "This strike is a reminder to the government that it must consult the millions of employees (affected) before changing the labour laws," striking bank worker Amit Khanna told AFP in New Delhi.

  • Weak growth sends $A below 70 US cents AAP - 12 hours ago
    Weak growth sends $A below 70 US cents

    The Australian dollar twice dipped to new six year lows below 70 US cents on Wednesday, rocked by weaker than expected economic growth and a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing. The local currency dropped to 69.89 US cents at 1130 AEST as official data showed economic growth of 0.2 per cent in the June quarter and 2.0 per cent in the year to June. Economists had expected a quarterly growth rate of 0.5 per cent and an annual rate of 2.2 per cent.

  • Harvey Norman's dairy stake "odd" AAP - 12 hours ago
    Harvey Norman's dairy stake "odd"

    Harvey Norman's acquisition of a stake in a dairy farm may be mystifying for some, but not for executive chairman Gerry Harvey. The business includes dairy farm operations, along with a pedigree breeding and genetics division. Harvey Norman gave no explanation for its interest in Coomboona in its ASX notice.