Top Stories

  • Jobless rate hits Qld economy AAP - 12 minutes ago

    Queensland's high unemployment rate and low population growth are causing its economy to lag behind other states, a new report shows. The Sunshine State is stuck in fifth position in the latest CommSec State of the States report, which measures economic performance by analysing eight key indicators. The report shows Queensland leads the nation when it comes to overall construction, but lags on employment, with the fastest growing joblessness behind WA. Population growth has also slowed, which is constraining growth in home building.

  • Aust shares open lower AAP - 36 minutes ago

    The Australian share market has opened lower. At 1010 AEST on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 47.3 points, or 0.80 per cent, at 5,830.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down ...

  • Finance leaders see global economy threats AAP - 50 minutes ago

    The world's financial leaders see a number of threats facing a global economy still on an uneven road to recovery with US and European officials worrying that Greece will default on its debt. The finance ministers and central bank governors have ended three days of meetings in Washington determined to work toward "a more robust, balanced and job-rich economy" while admitting there are risks in reaching that objective, the steering committee of the International Monetary Fund said in its communique at the weekend. Seeking to resolve Athens' debt crisis, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis held a series of talks with other finance officials on the sidelines of the meetings. The focus now shifts to Riga, Latvia, where European Union finance ministers meet this week.

  • NY's Cuomo to be first gov to visit Cuba AAP - 1 hour 9 minutes ago

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is heading to Havana, the first American governor to visit Cuba since the recent thaw in relations with the communist nation. Whether his trade mission generates anything more than headlines, however, remains to be seen. The formal state visit on Monday and Tuesday is meant to foster greater ties between New York and Cuba. Cuomo will be joined by lawmakers and a group of business leaders for what he has called "a tremendous stepping stone" that will "help open the door to a new market for New York businesses".

  • Soc spending key to lifting nat income: WB AAP - 1 hour 9 minutes ago

    Middle-income economies must increase social spending if they wish to reach the income level of developed countries and end extreme poverty, the president of the World Bank says. "We must change the relationship between growth and poverty reduction for growth to have more of an impact. It is important to invest in human beings, in health, education, social protection," Jim Yong Kim told top-selling Spanish daily El Pais, published on Sunday. The World Bank, a Washington-based international creditor for developing countries, has set the goal of ending extreme poverty -- lifting the livelihoods of those living on less than $US1.25 a day -- by 2030.

  • Iron ore slide continues to bite Arrium AAP - 1 hour 10 minutes ago

    Mining and metals group Arrium has endured another horror quarter, with iron ore prices falling well below costs. Arrium received an average price of $A58 per dry metric tonne for its iron ore during the ...

  • Oz Minerals on acquisition trail AAP - 1 hour 14 minutes ago

    Copper and gold miner Oz Minerals is on the hunt for acquisitions as part of a major restructure. Details of the restructure were revealed as Oz Minerals reported it had lifted copper production to 31,160 tonnes in the March quarter, up from 26,002 tonnes a year ago.

  • NZ records second quarter of deflation AAP - 1 hour 36 minutes ago

    New Zealand has recorded the second consecutive quarter of deflation, with falling petrol and diesel prices being the major factor pushing down the consumer price index. The annual inflation rate for the year to March 31 was 0.1 per cent. The last time there were two quarterly falls in the CPI was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters.

  • Bond prices lower on better risk appetite AAP - 1 hour 40 minutes ago

    Australian bond prices have moved lower after strong jobs numbers and stimulatory measures from China's central bank boosted risk appetite. China's central bank says it will cut the level of funds that ...

  • Asciano reaffirms earnings guidance AAP - 1 hour 52 minutes ago

    Asciano has reaffirmed its full year earnings guidance amid modest improvements across some of its ports and rail operations. Chief executive John Mullen said the company was on track to lift its underlying earnings by more than the five per cent growth recorded in the 2013/14 financial year thanks to higher volumes on some operations and business improvement initiatives in its Pacific National rail haulage business.

  • Greens back small business tax relief AAP - 1 hour 57 minutes ago

    Tax cuts for thousands of Australian small businesses could be in place by July after the Greens flagged their support for likely government measures. The Greens want taxes cut to 28 per cent from 30 per cent for companies with turnover of less than $2 million, as well as restoring and increasing the scrapped instant asset write-off threshold to $10,000 and reinstating a loss carry-back provision. "The Greens could provide the pathway through the Senate to pass a comprehensive package of support," the party's small business spokesman Peter Whish-Wilson told The Australian Financial Review on Monday.

  • Finance News Update, what you need to know AAP - 2 hours 35 minutes ago
    Finance News Update, what you need to know

    WORLD FINANCE UPDATE: The Australian dollar has rallied to a one-month high on the back of US dollar weakness and stimulatory measures announced by China's central bank. At 0630 AEST on Monday, the local ...

  • Stocks to watch on Monday AAP - 2 hours 55 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Monday, April 20: AGL - AGL ENERGY - down nine cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $14.98 Electricity giant AGL will close its coal fired power stations by 2050 ...

  • WA to receive $600m after GST argy bargy AAP - 3 hours ago

    West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan claims his state will pocket a $600 million payment from the federal government to make up for a shortfall in GST revenue. The deal was sealed in Canberra last week ...

  • $A hits one-month high on China news AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian dollar has rallied to a one-month high after China's central bank announced measures to stimulate lending. At 0700 AEST on Monday, the local currency was trading at 78.28 US cents, up from ...

  • Key worried about Aust economy slowing AAP - 3 hours ago

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has expressed concerns about a slow down in Australia's economy and its roll on effect across the Tasman. Mr Key made the comments while hosting Prime Minister Tony ...

  • International markets roundup AAP - 3 hours ago

    A roundup of trading on major world markets: NEW YORK - US stocks have tumbled on fresh worries about a Greek debt default as US President Barack Obama called on Greece to enact reforms. The Dow Jones ...

  • Australian market set to open lower AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian market looks set to open lower following sharp falls on Wall Street on fresh worries about a Greek debt default as US President Barack Obama called on Greece to enact reforms. At 0645 AEST ...

  • $A soars to one-month high AAP - 4 hours ago

    The Australian dollar has rallied to a one-month high on the back of US dollar weakness and stimulatory measures announced by China's central bank. At 0630 AEST on Monday, the local currency was trading ...

  • NSW economy is still number one AAP - 10 hours ago

    Bricks and mortar have cemented NSW as the country's strongest economy. The most populated state pushed Western Australia off the pedestal late last year, and is now the top performer for a third consecutive quarter, CommSec's State of the States report shows. NSW also has the title to itself, after previously sharing it with the Northern Territory. Its strength is supported by housing construction, as population growth spurs demand for new homes.

  • Too many costly super funds: Grattan AAP - 10 hours ago

    A respected think tank believes there are too many superannuation funds, many of which are charging excessive fees. The Grattan Institute says in a new analysis that there is little evidence that funds that charge high fees provide better member services or perform well enough to justify the extra costs. It is supported by the findings of the financial system inquiry headed by former banker David Murray that argues that policymakers must do more to prune out poor products. The institute says administration fees are too high for both default and choice funds and take their toll on net returns.

  • Bogus to call budget cuts deep: Deloitte AAP - 10 hours ago

    The Abbott government has made some important savings but to suggest it has made deep cuts is "completely bogus". Those are the thoughts of prominent economist Chris Richardson, who says attempted savings have to be viewed against an existing "large bucket" of promises to increase spending in the coming decade. The economy also keeps wiping out any savings that are being made because of the negative impact on revenue from falling commodity prices and slow wage growth, the Deloitte Access Economics economist says in his latest quarterly business outlook. "The federal government's fall in the polls has also seen it put back its approach to achieve savings," he said.

  • China's premier auto show opens amid growth slowdown AFP - 14 hours ago
    China's premier auto show opens amid growth slowdown

    Global car makers show off hundreds of vehicles in China's commercial hub Shanghai on Monday, as the world's biggest auto market continues to attract despite a sharp deceleration in sales growth. On the sidelines of China's premier auto show, foreign car makers admitted an economic slowdown in the world's second largest economy had taken its toll, but said the market was simply too big -- and important -- to ignore. "The market will increase less than in former years, but still much higher than in any other relevant automotive market in the world," President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, Jochem Heizmann, told reporters on Sunday. Vehicle sales in China reached 23.49 million last year, well ahead of the United States, which it overtook in 2009.

  • Greece will not cross 'red lines' on debt talks: deputy PM AFP - 15 hours ago
    Greece will not cross 'red lines' on debt talks: deputy PM

    Greece's deputy prime minister Ioannis Dragasakis said Sunday that Athens would stand firm on its red lines in negotiations with its creditors for billions in aid, despite escalating fears that the country could soon be forced to default. Greece's creditors -- the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- are waiting for Athens to submit an acceptable programme of reforms it would undertake in exchange for 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in bailout funds.

  • More than 30% of Arab youth jobless: labour official AFP - 17 hours ago
    More than 30% of Arab youth jobless: labour official

    More than 30 percent of young Arabs are jobless because of unrest in many Arab nations and not enough investment, a top labour official said on Sunday. "The unemployment rate among Arab youth until the age of 30 years exceeds 30 percent," the director general of the Arab Labour Organisation Ahmad Mohammed Luqman told AFP. "Due to unrest in several Arab nations, the number of Arabs without jobs has jumped two million since 2011, making the total number of unemployed Arabs at 20 million," Luqman said on the sidelines of the annual Arab labour conference. He told the opening session of the five-day gathering in Kuwait City that unemployment in the Arab world hit 17 percent last year, "three times higher" than the global average.