Australasia

South Africa's Woolworths posts 2.7 pct rise in 20-week sales

15/11 South African retailer Woolworths Holdings Ltd reported a 2.7 percent rise in sales for the 20 weeks ended Nov. 12, helped by its local food and Australian businesses.  Full story

Australian shares set to strengthen, New Zealand rises

15/11 Australian shares are likely to track their Wall Street peers higher on Friday after reports of possible leeway in the Sino-U.S. trade standoff helped risk appetite. The local share price index. . .  Full story

Australian power grid prepared for hot summer, operator says

15/11 Australia has readied its stretched power grid to cope with a hotter-than-normal summer, with extra electricity supply lined up for the system in case of disruptions, the energy market operator said in a statement. . .  Full story

Australia shares erase losses on Sino-U.S trade hopes; NZ flat

15/11 Australian shares erased early losses to close almost flat on Thursday as investors took heart from further signs that both Beijing and Washington may be moving to de-escalate their months-long trade dispute.. . .  Full story

Australia economy safer due to curbs on home lending-RBA

15/11 Australia's economy is less vulnerable to shocks thanks to regulators' efforts in recent years to curb riskier home lending with macro prudential measures, a top central banker said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Australia jobs enjoy bumper Oct in broadly strong report

15/11 Australian employment was surprisingly strong in October as firms took on more full time staff and the jobless rate stayed at its lowest since 2012, a bumper report that sent the local dollar skipping. . .  Full story

GrainCorp profit withers in east Australia drought, challenges ahead

15/11 GrainCorp Ltd, Australia's largest listed bulk grain handler, said on Thursday its annual underlying net profit fell 50 percent, hurt by the drought in the eastern states.. . .  Full story

Aussie shares set to open marginally up; NZ down

14/11 Australian shares are likely to open slightly higher on Thursday after two sessions of heavy declines as oil prices rose on prospects of output cuts. Financial shares. . .  Full story

Australian wages pick up, but private sector lags

14/11 Australian wages rose at the fastest annual pace in almost three years last quarter but only thanks to a mandated increase in minimum wages, while growth in much of the private sector stayed stubbornly. . .  Full story

Australia consumer confidence improves in Nov - survey

14/11 A measure of Australian consumer confidence improved for a second month in November, with survey respondents more upbeat on their finances and the long-run economic outlook.. . .  Full story

Australia to buy $1.4 billion in non-bank debt to help fund small business

14/11 The Australian government will buy up to A$2 billion ($1.44 billion) in small businesses loans from non-bank lenders, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Wednesday, in an effort to inject funding to capital-starved businesses.. . .  Full story

China says nobody can stand in its way in Pacific island cooperation

13/11 No country can block China's cooperation with island nations in the Pacific and the area is no country's sphere of influence, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday, ahead of a summit between President Xi. . .  Full story

Australian shares pulled lower by banks, commodity firms; NZ also down

13/11 Australian shares tumbled on Tuesday, as banks and commodity stocks bore the brunt of a sell-off after a slide on Wall Street sapped global risk sentiment.. . .  Full story

China LNG growth not slowing, says Woodside CEO

13/11 China's appetite for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has not slowed, but its purchases have been spread more evenly, avoiding last year's sudden spike to meet winter demand, Australia's top independent LNG producer said on Tuesday.. . .  Full story

Australian, New Zealand shares slide on global equities sell-off

13/11 Australian shares tumbled on Tuesday as concerns over slowing global growth continued to undercut equities, with a sell-off in tech stocks on Wall Street leading a broad risk-off move globally.. . .  Full story

Australia business confidence eases, conditions still above average

13/11 An index of Australian business conditions declined in October, driven by a slowdown in firms' intention to hire more workers though the labour market remains largely robust even though wages growth is seen growing. . .  Full story

Aussie shares poised to open lower tracking Wall St, NZ falls

12/11 Australian shares are set to open lower on Tuesday, in line with overnight weakness on Wall Street as technology and financial stocks came under pressure. Energy stocks. . .  Full story

Energy stocks boost Australian shares; NZ also rises

12/11 Energy stocks helped Australia's benchmark share index reverse course to end higher on Monday as oil prices jumped after Saudi Arabia announced a supply cut.. . .  Full story

Australian state looks to beef up grid for solar, wind power

12/11 Australia's most populous state of New South Wales outlined plans on Monday to speed development of A$2.6 billion ($1.9 billion) worth of transmission capacity to hook up more wind and solar power.. . .  Full story

Australia's Navitas spurns bidder but stays in play

12/11 Australian education provider Navitas Ltd on Monday spurned a A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) buyout offer from its founder and an Australian private equity firm as too low, but kept the door ajar for. . .  Full story

Australia shares inch lower on weak global sentiment; New Zealand flat

12/11 Australian shares started the week slightly lower on Monday as falling global equities and lower commodity prices checked investor sentiment.. . .  Full story

Australian shares set to lose; New Zealand edges lower

11/11 Australian shares are expected to open lower on Monday due to fears over slowing demand in China, the country's largest trading partner. Market sentiment is expected to track a. . .  Full story

Australia lithium miner Altura says it has signed offtake deal with China's Ganfeng

09/11 Australian lithium producer Altura Mining on Friday said it had signed a deal to supply Chinese battery giant Ganfeng Lithium with concentrate from its Pilgangoora mine in Western Australia.. . .  Full story

Australia shares edge lower, weighed by Fed, miners; NZ up

09/11 Australian shares eased on Friday, tracking global declines after the U.S. Federal Reserve affirmed its intention to continue raising rates and as softer metals prices and new state regulations weighed on mining stocks.. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac fined $2.4 mln in rate case, fraction of penalty sought

09/11 Westpac Banking Corp won vindication of its decision to fight accusations its conduct in handling of a key rate was unconscionable as an Australian court fined it A$3.3 million ($2.4 million), far less than. . .  Full story

Australian shares edge lower as Fed tempers weekly gains; NZ up

09/11 Australian shares slipped on Friday but were still set for a second week of gains as the U.S. Federal Reserve stayed on course to gradually raise interest rates.. . .  Full story

Australia's Murray Goulburn reaches settlement with competition regulator

09/11 Dairy group Murray Goulburn Co-operative said on Friday it has reached a settlement in principle with Australia's competition regulator over a court case into allegations the company in 2016 misled farmers about the price they. . .  Full story

China shuns rivalry in Pacific as Australia says "this is our patch"

08/11 Beijing and Canberra should be cooperating in the South Pacific and not be cast as strategic rivals, China's top diplomat said on Thursday, after Australia launched a multi-billion dollar fund to counter China's rising influence. . .  Full story

Australia's banking regulator flags higher capital requirements

08/11 Australia's bank regulator said on Thursday it wants to raise the amount of spare capital banks must carry, its third such request in three years, heaping pressure on companies already bracing for tightened regulation.. . .  Full story

Australia shares close near 3-week high after Wall St rally; NZ rises

08/11 Australian shares closed higher on Thursday boosted by financial stocks, riding a wave of relief on Wall Street which rallied as U.S. midterm election results came in largely as expected.. . .  Full story

Indonesia to ratify Pakistan trade deal to protect palm oil exports

08/11 The Indonesian government will push ahead and ratify a trade deal with Pakistan to protect $1.5 billion in annual palm oil exports to the South Asia nation, a cabinet minister said.. . .  Full story

Australia launches $1.5 bln Pacific fund to counter China's influence

08/11 Australia will offer Pacific countries up to A$3 billion ($2.18 billion) in grants and cheap loans to build infrastructure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, as Canberra seeks to counter China's rising influence in. . .  Full story

Australia's McMillan Shakespeare to buy Eclipx Group for $662 mln

08/11 Australian administrative services provider McMillan Shakespeare Ltd will buy Eclipx Group Ltd for an implied value of A$911 million ($661.9 million), or A$2.85 per share, in cash and stock, the companies said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Australian, NZ shares track Wall Street's post-midterm gains

08/11 Australian shares touched two-week highs on Thursday, buoyed by a Wall Street rally after the U.S. midterm elections, though gains lagged the broader surge as investors remained focused on U.S.-China trade issues.. . .  Full story

NZ central bank shifts to neutral tone, warns of growth risks

08/11 New Zealand's central bank struck a neutral tone as it marked two full years of steady policy on Thursday, saying its next move would depend on how the economy fared and cautioned of downside. . .  Full story

Australia's APA slumps as govt opposes HK gas pipeline buyout

08/11 Shares in Australia's biggest gas pipeline company APA Group fell 11 percent on Thursday after Australia's treasurer said he intended to block a A$13 billion ($9.5 billion) buyout by Hong Kong's CK Group.. . .  Full story

Australia's banking regulator proposes hiking capital requirements

07/11 Australia's banking regulator said on Thursday it wanted to further lift banks' capital requirements in order to strengthen the financial system's ability to cope with shocks.. . .  Full story

Australia shares to open higher; NZ rises

07/11 Australian shares are set to open on a strong note on Thursday, on the back of a Wall Street rally, as investors took a positive view of U.S. midterm elections that saw Democrats win. . .  Full story

Australia set to block Hong Kong-based CK Group's $9.4 bln bid for APA

07/11 Australia is poised to bar Hong Kong-based CK Group going ahead with a A$13 billion ($9.4 billion) takeover of the country's biggest gas pipeline company, APA Group, based on a preliminary view that it. . .  Full story

Australia, NZ shares slip, caution prevails ahead of U.S. election outcome

07/11 Australian shares were weaker in thin trade on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of U.S. midterm elections. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4 percent or 21.4 points to 5853.800 by 0100 GMT, with declines. . .  Full story

Australia's biggest bank CBA's quarterly profit falls as loans growth slows

07/11 Commonwealth Bank of Australia , the country's biggest lender by assets and market value, posted a 5.7 percent fall in first-quarter cash profit on slowing loans growth and higher funding costs.. . .  Full story

Australian shares to open higher; NZ up

06/11 Australian shares are set to open higher on Wednesday in line with U.S. stocks, which edged up as Americans went to the polls in pivotal midterm elections that could shift the balance of power. . .  Full story

Aussie shares rise in muted trade ahead of U.S. elections; NZ up

06/11 Australian shares ended higher on Tuesday as metals and mining heavyweights rose on higher iron ore prices, although trading volumes were cautious ahead of the U.S. mid-term elections.. . .  Full story

Australia's central bank extends record spell of stable rates

06/11 Australia's central bank left rates at record lows on Tuesday, in a widely expected move and marking a 27th straight month of stable policy as it awaits a pick up in inflation and wages. . .  Full story

Australian rate changes since 1990

06/11 The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate unchanged at 1.5 percent on Tuesday, following its monthly policy meeting. The following is a chronology of the Reserve Bank. . .  Full story

Australia shares rises as energy, materials support; NZ up

06/11 Australian shares rose on Tuesday, tracking gains on Wall Street overnight with energy and material firms leading the way.. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to open little changed; NZ rises

05/11 Australian shares are set to open unchanged on Tuesday, as investors remain cautious about U.S. sanctions on Iran while country's central bank is widely expected to keep rates at a record low.. . .  Full story

Australia c.bank rates seen at record lows until early 2020

05/11 Australia's central bank is seen extending its record spell of steady rates well into next year, according to a median of economists polled by Reuters, with a 25-basis-point hike not expected before early-2020.. . .  Full story

Australian shares pulled lower by healthcare, energy; NZ falls

05/11 Australian shares closed lower on Monday, dragged down by healthcare and energy stocks, although financials recovered slightly towards the end of trade.. . .  Full story

Australia shares change a little as Sino-U.S. trade talk enthusiasm wanes; NZ lower

05/11 Australian shares were little changed on Monday after the White House damped down optimism over Sino-U.S. trade talks, weakening investor sentiment, with financials and energy stocks leading the declines.. . .  Full story

Australia Oct job ads up, annual growth slowest since April 2015

05/11 Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet inched higher in October after falling for two consecutive months while annual growth was the slowest since April 2015, a survey showed on Monday.. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac says profit hurt as legal costs, refunds mount

05/11 Australia's second-biggest lender Westpac Banking Corp reported flat annual cash earnings growth on Monday, missing expectations, as refunds and legal costs soared in the wake of a damaging public inquiry.. . .  Full story

Australia's Westpac FY profit flat as legal costs, refunds mount

04/11 Westpac Banking Corp reported flat cash earnings growth on Monday, missing expectations, as customer refunds and legal costs soared in the wake of damaging revelations of wrongdoing at a public inquiry.. . .  Full story

Australian shares to open little changed; NZ falls

04/11 Australian shares are set to open little changed on Monday as investors remain cautious after the White House dampened optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. Markets had earlier climbed on hopes. . .  Full story

Australia sticks with banking regulator head despite shortcomings of sector

04/11 Australia's treasurer reappointed the head of the country's banking regulator on Monday and lifted its funding, even though a powerful public inquiry found the watchdog wanting.. . .  Full story

Australia trade minister to visit China in sign of thaw

03/11 Australia's trade minister will travel to China on Sunday, in a sign that political tensions between the two countries may be easing.. . .  Full story

China's CNNC seeking overseas partners to secure uranium - exec

03/11 China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) is looking to invest in overseas uranium mines to secure supply for an expected ramp-up in China's nuclear power generation, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.. . .  Full story

Asian shares post biggest monthly losses in nearly 6-1/2 years in October

02/11 Asian shares posted their biggest monthly losses in nearly 6-1/2 years in October on worries over slowing corporate earnings, higher U.S yields, and trade tensions between the United States and China.. . .  Full story

Australia shares turn up as report spurs Sino-U.S. trade deal hopes; NZ slips

02/11 Australian shares turned higher on Friday as a report suggesting U.S. President Donald Trump was taking steps to resolve a trade dispute with China bouyed risk appetite in the region, with firms exposed. . .  Full story

Australia Q3 retail sales worst in 1-1/2 years, bodes poorly for economy

02/11 Australian retailers faced another month of sluggish sales growth as consumers, nervous about stagnant wages and tumbling house prices, curbed spending in a sign third-quarter economic growth could disappoint.. . .  Full story

Australia shares weaker as crude prices weigh on energy stocks; NZ rises

02/11 Australian shares edged lower on Friday, defying a broader rally in global markets and weighed by energy stocks as crude oil prices weakened and fresh worries about domestic growth in the third quarter.. . .  Full story

Capital-starved mining sector creates 'buyer's market' for investors

02/11 Specialist mining investors have found a "buyer's market" for projects as the mining sector struggles to compete for funding with new industries, multiple industry executives said at a conference this week.. . .  Full story

Australia shares to open little changed; NZ rises

01/11 Australian shares are set to open little changed on Friday as investors remain cautious amid fresh signs of an easing in Sino-U.S. trade tensions. Energy stocks are likely to be. . .  Full story

Perth Mint's Oct gold, silver sales drop

01/11 Sales of gold and silver products by the Perth Mint fell in October, the mint said on Thursday. Sales of gold coins and minted bars dropped 41 percent. . .  Full story

BHP boosts Aussie shares after massive shareholder return; NZ up

01/11 Australia's benchmark index closed slightly higher on Thursday as shares in BHP shot up as much as 6.2 percent after the world's biggest miner announced a blockbuster $10.4 billion shareholder return.. . .  Full story

Australian home prices skid, Sydney down most since 1990

01/11 Home prices in Sydney, Australia's biggest city, posted its worst annual performance since 1990 in October, dragging down national values and pointing to a further slowdown over coming months in a blow to. . .  Full story

National Australia Bank's misdeeds hit profit but dividend holds firm

01/11 National Australia Bank (NAB) posted a 14 percent fall in annual cash earnings on Thursday as the country's fourth-largest lender grapples with the costs of compensating customers and improving compliance following revelations of wrongdoing.. . .  Full story

Australia Woolworths' quarterly sales growth sputters on "bag rage"

01/11 Australia's biggest grocer Woolworths Group Ltd posted its slowest quarterly sales growth in two years as shoppers turned away after it started charging for plastic bags.. . .  Full story

Australia's AMP shares jump after reports Macquarie considering acquisition

01/11 Shares in Australia's largest-listed wealth manager, AMP Ltd, jumped more than 7 percent on Thursday, following reports that the country's largest investment bank, Macquarie Group, was considering a tilt at the embattled firm.. . .  Full story

Australia shares firmer on mining, financial gains; NZ higher

01/11 Australian shares started the month on a positive note on Thursday, following a rocky October, gaining as much as 0.8 percent in morning trade, powered by mining giant BHP and financial stocks.. . .  Full story

Australia's Commonwealth Bank to issue debt to raise about $530.6 mln

01/11 Commonwealth Bank of Australia said on Thursday it would issue debt through a hybrid capital notes offer to raise about A$750 million ($530.63 million).. . .  Full story

National Australia Bank's annual profit takes a hit on inquiry fallout

31/10 National Australia Bank (NAB) posted a 14.2 percent fall in annual cash earnings on Thursday as the country's fourth-largest lender grapples with the costs of compensating customers and a series of compliance failures.. . .  Full story

Australia shares likely to inch up; NZ flat

31/10 Australian shares are set to open slightly higher on Thursday, tracking Wall Street which surged overnight on strong earnings, but gains are likely to be capped by a fall in commodity prices.. . .  Full story

Australia's big finance firms struggle to restructure under inquiry cloud

31/10 Struggling to adjust in the face of a damning inquiry into the financial sector, two of Australia's top banks shelved plans for share market spin-offs on Wednesday while its biggest wealth manager faced an. . .  Full story

Australia's AMP tries to soothe angry investors after insurance sale

31/10 Australia's AMP Ltd on Wednesday defended the valuation and sale of its life insurance arm after a large shareholder threatened to campaign for a board spill over the price it agreed for the business last. . .  Full story

MUFG leaps to grab CBA asset management unit for $2.9 bln in surprise sale

31/10 Commonwealth Bank of Australia will sell its asset management arm to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group for $2.9 billion in a surprise sale, the latest business to be sold by an Australian financial giant amid unprecedented. . .  Full story

Australia's banking watchdog rejects blame for lenders' misconduct

31/10 Australia's prudential watchdog rejected on Wednesday criticism it was too soft in regulating the country's beleaguered banking industry, saying it is mandated to focus on material risks to banks' stability and not on their treatment. . .  Full story

Australia Q3 inflation underwhelms, keeps rate rise distant

31/10 Australian consumer prices stayed tepid last quarter while core inflation - a measure closely followed by the central bank - dipped, knocking the local dollar and cementing expectation any hike in interest rates is. . .  Full story

ANZ second-half profit slides, costs rise after misconduct inquiry

31/10 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said on Wednesday that second-half profit tumbled 13 percent, hit by costs to compensate customers hurt by the bank's misconduct as well as increases in the cost of. . .  Full story

Australia shares little changed on investor caution; NZ advances

31/10 Australian shares were little changed on Wednesday, as gains in energy and financial stocks were offset by losses in metal and healthcare firms, with the benchmark on track to post its biggest monthly loss. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to open little changed; NZ moves up

30/10 - Australian shares are slated to open little changed on Wednesday as investors remain cautious amid a volatile week for Wall Street. Investors are also waiting for key inflation data,. . .  Full story

Australia's ANZ posts 5 pct annual profit decline on compliance costs

30/10 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd said on Wednesday full-year cash earnings fell 5 percent, hit by mounting compliance costs that include compensation to customers hurt by poor bank practices.. . .  Full story

Australia shares turn higher as China bounces; NZ inches up

30/10 Australia shares reversed course to end higher on Tuesday as Chinese equities rose on fresh attempts by Beijing to stabilize its markets, though underlying sentiment remained fragile in an environment of heightened volatility in global. . .  Full story

Australia shares fall on fresh Sino-U.S. trade concerns; NZ shaky

30/10 Australian shares lost ground on Tuesday as fresh worries over Sino-U.S. trade frictions stung global investor sentiment.. . .  Full story

Australia shares gain across the board; NZ ticks up

29/10 Australian shares closed higher on Monday, driven by financials and materials sectors as investors snapped up beaten down stocks after the recent sell-off in global markets.. . .  Full story

Australia's Navitas rebuffs $1.4 bln approach, says open to talks

29/10 Australian adult education provider Navitas Ltd on Monday rebuffed a A$1.97 billion ($1.4 billion) approach from its founder and a private equity firm, leaving some investors concerned the tactic may not generate a better deal.. . .  Full story

Australia shares rise as beaten-down firms bounce; NZ flat

29/10 Australian shares rose on Monday, posting its best intra-day gain in nearly two weeks led by gains for all major sectors, as investors bought into firms that took a hammering during the recent sell-off. . .  Full story

Australian shares set to open lower; NZ falls

28/10 Australian shares were set to open lower on Monday, tracking a slump in global equity markets at the end of last week over disappointing U.S. corporate profits and trade wars.. . .  Full story

Drought to cut east Australia crop output in half from 20-year average

26/10 Drought is expected to cut eastern Australia's crop production this year to less than half the average over the past 20 years, with New South Wales to be worst hit, the country's agricultural commodities. . .  Full story

Australia shares end flat but post steep weekly loss; NZ flat

26/10 Australian shares closed flat on Friday ending a week of overall loss, as investors picked up financial and materials stocks while declining oil prices left the energy sector sagging.. . .  Full story

Australia shares make modest gains after heavy selloff; NZ rises

26/10 Australian shares edged up on Friday as investors picked up stocks battered by the previous session's heavy selloff, particularly in the financial and metals sectors.. . .  Full story

Australian property settlements firm PEXA shelves IPO amid market sell-off - source

26/10 Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), an online property settlements firm owned by the nation's big banks and local governments, has shelved its initial public offering (IPO) due to market volatility, a source said on Thursday.. . .  Full story

Australia eyes A$3.9 bln drought fund for farm communities

26/10 The Australian government proposed on Friday setting up a A$3.9 billion ($2.8 billion) fund for water infrastructure and drought related projects to buffer farming communities from future droughts, as parts of the country endure extreme. . .  Full story

Australia shares set to rebound sharply, NZ rises

25/10 Australian shares are placed to open up over 1 percent, recovering sharply from previous session's lows, with energy stocks poised to do well. U.S. stocks rebounded overnight after the massive. . .  Full story

Australian corporate regulator to embed officials at CBA next week

25/10 Commonwealth Bank of Australia , the country's top lender, will become the first financial firm in the country to embed corporate watchdogs in its offices following revelations at a national inquiry of widespread misconduct in. . .  Full story

Aussie shares end at more than 1-yr low after Wall St sell-off, NZ down

25/10 Australian shares sank across the board on Thursday to end at a more than one-year low, with metals and mining leading the descent after Wall Street's biggest daily decline since 2011 set the. . .  Full story

Qantas Q1 revenue climbs to record, higher fares offset oil price pain

25/10 Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd on Thursday reported record revenue for a first quarter, as higher airfares and its strategy of keeping a lid on capacity helped offset a climb in oil prices.. . .  Full story

Australian, NZ shares sink on the back of Wall Street rout

25/10 Australian shares were battered in morning trade on Thursday, tracking the overnight Wall Street sell-off to fall to their lowest level in over an year.. . .  Full story

Australia's Fortescue Q1 shipments fall 8.6 pct, maintains guidance

25/10 The world's No. 4 iron ore miner Fortescue Metals on Thursday reported an 8.6 percent fall in first-quarter iron ore shipments as pollution curbs in China reduced demand for its lower grade ore.. . .  Full story