Top Stories

  • Aust bond futures prices strengthen AAP - 23 minutes ago

    Australian bond futures prices are slightly higher after the European Central Bank announced the details of its bond buying program. The ECB said it would begin a 1.1 trillion euro ($A1.56 trillion) bond ...

  • Malaysia Airlines readies for change AAP - 29 minutes ago

    After a year of calamity, Malaysia Airlines is shrinking to survive. The government, which owned most of the airline, took 100 per cent ownership and removed it from the Malaysian stock exchange in 2014. The airline is now aiming to return to profitability by 2017 with a drastic $US1.7 billion ($A2.17 billion) overhaul that includes cutting nearly a third of its staff. Key to the plan is a new chief executive, Christoph Mueller, a turnaround specialist who led a successful revival of Ireland's Aer Lingus.

  • Wall Street rises as eurozone QE program is set to begin ABC - 50 minutes ago

    Wall Street rose modestly overnight, but the European Central Bank drove stronger gains across the Atlantic by confirming its massive money printing program will kick off on Monday. European stocks wavered early but finished more strongly after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi confirmed the first 60 billion euro round of quantitative easing will begin next week.

  • Labor senator Sam Dastyari uses parliamentary privilege to name executives allegedly involved in foreign … ABC - 51 minutes ago

    Allegations of foreign bribery involving some of Australia's biggest corporations and executives look likely to become the subject of a Senate inquiry. Last night Labor senator Sam Dastyari told the Senate he had evidence that executives from some of Australia's biggest companies engaged in corrupt behaviour. He told the Senate he had documents from whistleblowers detailing allegations of foreign bribery against Leighton Holdings, Leighton Offshore and Thiess. Senator Dastyari used parliamentary privilege to name several former Leighton executives who he said were associated with Leighton Holdings, Leighton Offshore and mining contractor Thiess.

  • Migrants lazy way to grow economy: Hockey AAP - 1 hour 2 minutes ago
    Migrants lazy way to grow economy: Hockey

    Treasurer Joe Hockey says immigration is the lazy way to grow the economy. Mr Hockey said the government was forecasting a drop in immigration as a percentage of the total population. "Immigration is a rather lazy way to try to grow your economy," Mr Hockey told ABC radio. Mr Hockey released his five-yearly review of the 40-year outlook for the Australian economy on Thursday, which projected an Australian population of about 40 million by 2055.

  • $A sinks on RBA comments, $US strength AAP - 1 hour 41 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar has dropped back below 78 US cents following a surge in the greenback and suggestions that the Reserve Bank is willing and able to cut rates again. At 0700 AEDT on Friday, the local currency was trading at 77.74 US cents, down from 78.16 cents on Thursday. The Australian dollar's descent began on Thursday, when RBA deputy governor Philip Lowe said the currency needed to fall further and that interest rates could afford to be cut again. We're some way from that, which means we have some scope to lower interest rates again if that's appropriate," Dr Lowe said.

  • Skeleton horse erected shows ticker AAP - 1 hour 52 minutes ago

    London's Trafalgar Square, full of tourists, pigeons and military monuments, has a new occupant - a skeletal horse displaying stock quotes. German artist Hans Haacke's Gift Horse was unveiled on Thursday atop the square's "fourth plinth," a major platform for public art. The work is a skeleton horse with a London Stock Exchange ticker tied to its leg. He said he hoped visitors would be "intrigued by what the ticker of the London Stock Exchange tells them about their fortunes".

  • Stocks to watch on Friday AAP - 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange on Friday, March 6: FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - steady at $2.29 Fortescue Metals Group is bolstering its balance sheet by refinancing $US2.5 billion ...

  • Commodities markets summary AAP - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    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.

  • Finance News Update, what you need to know AAP - 2 hours 4 minutes ago
    Finance News Update, what you need to know

    WORLD FINANCE UPDATE: The Australian dollar has dropped back below 78 US cents after the European Central Bank said it would begin a 1.1 trillion euros ($A1.56 trillion) bond buying program next week. ...

  • International markets roundup AAP - 2 hours 4 minutes ago

    A roundup of trading on major world markets: NEW YORK - US stocks have opened higher, ending a two-day downturn, with AbbVie's $US21 billion takeover of cancer drug developer Pharmacyclics giving a charge ...

  • Australian market set to open flat AAP - 2 hours 42 minutes ago

    The Australian market looks set to open flat after a lacklustre finish on Thursday and an unriveting performance on Wall Street where stocks lifted slightly. At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the share price index ...

  • $A drops back below 78 US cents AAP - 2 hours 46 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar has dropped back below 78 US cents after the European Central Bank said it would begin a 1.1 trillion euros ($A1.56 trillion) bond buying program next week. At 0630 AEDT on Friday, ...

  • Hockey to kick along debate on future AAP - 5 hours ago

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants a bipartisan approach to dealing with the challenges of an ageing population. Treasurer Joe Hockey released his five-yearly review of the 40-year outlook for the Australian economy on Thursday, a report he hopes will spark a national conversation about the future. Mr Hockey has left open the possibility of tax cuts if all the government's measures from his first budget are passed by the Senate and the budget returns to surplus in 2019/20.

  • Hackers threaten phone in your pocket, experts warn AFP - 10 hours ago
    Hackers threaten phone in your pocket, experts warn

    The boom in smartphones among often careless users has made happy hunting for hackers, whose virus attacks and hijacking of unprotected mobiles are multiplying, experts warn. Security analysts and companies at this week's Mobile World Congress, a top wireless telecom fair in Barcelona, Spain, said phone makers and users must be on guard to stop hackers getting into your pocket. "With smartphones we are going through what we went through 15 years ago with personal computers," said Tanguy de Coatpont, head of the French branch of international anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab. Kaspersky's most recent study showed that 28 percent of users were ignorant of the risks of cyberattack on their smartphones.

  • Women earn 16.4 percent less than men in EU AFP - 10 hours ago
    Women earn 16.4 percent less than men in EU

    Women earned on average 16.4 percent less than men in the European Union in 2013, with the gap even greater in many northern countries, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said Thursday. At 29.9 percent, the biggest salary gap was in Estonia, followed by Austria at 23 percent, the Czech Republic at 22.1 percent and Germany at 21.6 percent. At 3.2 percent, the gap was narrowest in Slovenia, followed by Malta at 5.1 percent, Poland at 6.4 percent, Italy at 7.3 percent and Croatia at 7.4 percent. Poland, the Czech Republic and Malta also registered big declines.

  • Major banks in US all pass first phase of stress tests AFP - 10 hours ago
    Major banks in US all pass first phase of stress tests

    The 31 largest banks in the United States passed the first phase of regulatory stress tests, the Federal Reserve announced Thursday. In tests of their strength to withstand a severe economic crisis -- one worse than that of 2008 -- all the banks proved capable of maintaining more than the minimum 5.0 percent level of core capital.

  • US stocks gain on ECB stimulus, pharma deal AFP - 10 hours ago
    US stocks gain on ECB stimulus, pharma deal

    US stocks Thursday snapped a two-day losing streak, finishing higher on news of European monetary stimulus and a $21 billion pharmaceutical merger. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.82 points (0.21 ...

  • Global supply glut weighs on oil prices AFP - 10 hours ago
    Global supply glut weighs on oil prices

    Persistent worries about a global oversupply of crude oil weighed on the oil market Thursday after US inventories leaped to another record high this week. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in April fell 77 cents to $50.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at the end of a volatile session in which WTI spent some time in positive territory. In London, Brent North Sea crude for April, the international benchmark, dipped seven cents to $60.48 a barrel. US crude inventories jumped by 10.3 million barrels in the week February 27 to 444.4 million barrels, the US Department of Energy reported Wednesday.

  • Mandarin Oriental says hackers stole credit card data AFP - 10 hours ago
    Mandarin Oriental says hackers stole credit card data

    Hackers broke into the Mandarin Oriental luxury hotel group's database and stole credit card information from "an isolated number" of its properties in the United States and Europe.

  • Gorgon given green light for expansion AAP - 11 hours ago
    Gorgon given green light for expansion

    Chevron's Gorgon liquefied natural gas project has been given the green light to expand production capacity. The West Australian Environmental Protection Authority has recommended conditional approval ...

  • Coca-Cola, McDonald's wage unhealthy 'war' on Russia: PM aide AFP - 11 hours ago
    Coca-Cola, McDonald's wage unhealthy 'war' on Russia: PM aide

    Russian officials sharply criticised US fast-food giants Coca-Cola and McDonald's on Thursday for their "unhealthy" products, comparing aggressive advertising campaigns to a war on citizens. An aide to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took aim at the companies for their "super-calorific" products in a sideswipe at the United States at a time of high tension between the countries over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. "The aggressive marketing they carry out -- which has nothing to do with our culinary traditions -- is comparable to a war against our people," said Gennady Onishchenko, speaking to radio station Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei. Onishchenko was previously Russia's chief sanitation doctor, notorious for imposing sweeping bans on food imports from countries that were Moscow's political foes for alleged hygiene breaches.

  • Turkish lira slumps to new low as central bank under pressure AFP - 11 hours ago
    Turkish lira slumps to new low as central bank under pressure

    Turkish lira hit a new record low for a third consecutive day on Thursday as the government stepped up pressure on the central bank to lower interest rates, damaging investor confidence. The currency has lost three percent in value over the past week alone as the government has renewed pressure on the nominally-independent central bank to cut interest rates to support growth. "The intensifying political pressures on the central bank is seemingly the main reason behind the poor performance of the lira," economist Gokce Celik of Istanbul-based Finansbank said in a note to clients. With parliamentary elections looming in June, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at the central bank over interest rates, which were jacked up to keep a lid on inflation.

  • Parmesan makers cheesed off over US copies AFP - 11 hours ago
    Parmesan makers cheesed off over US copies

    Parmesan makers cried foul Thursday over the huge scale on which the famous Italian cheese is copied in the United States. For the first time, the number of wheels of cheeses made outside Italy in the style of the celebrated Parmigiano Reggiano and the similar Grana Padano now exceeds production in their Italian home regions, the country's biggest agriculture group Coldiretti said. Over 300,000 tonnes of what Italians consider to be "fake" versions of the famous cheeses were produced overseas -- for the most part in the United States -- compared to 295,000 tonnes produced in Italy, Coldiretti said as producers staged a demonstration over the issue in Bologna. Exports of Parmesan to the United States dropped 10 percent last year, amid reports of an increase in popularity of a kit which claims users can make the cheese themselves at home in just two months.

  • Spanish judge orders ex-ruling party treasurers to stand trial AFP - 11 hours ago
    Spanish judge orders ex-ruling party treasurers to stand trial

    A Spanish judge on Thursday ordered 40 people, including three former treasurers of the ruling Popular Party, to stand trial over an alleged kickback scheme at the heart of the party. The massive bribes-for-contracts scheme allegedly extended to six regional Popular Party governments and operated from 1999 to 2009, when investigations into the case began. The case has been a source of deep embarrassment to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who faces a general election at the end of the year in which new anti-establishment party Podemos which has rallied against corruption is poised to make huge gains. Health Minister Ana Mato resigned in November 2014 after the judge accused her of benefiting from the kickback scheme, becoming the first government casualty in a series of cases of alleged graft.