News archive from 8 March 2013

Bank of England leaves rate steady

THE Bank of England has voted at a regular policy meeting to hold its reference interest rate at a record-low 0.5 per cent, where it has stood for four years, and opted against increasing its cash stimulus program to boost a British economy on the...

 

ECB keeps rates on hold amid crisis fears

THE European Central Bank has held its main refinancing rate at a historic low of 0.75 per cent, despite concerns that political gridlock in Italy could trigger a resurgence in the debt crisis. ECB watchers had not expected the central bank to ease...

 

Insurer Aviva posts huge 2012 loss

BRITISH insurer Aviva says it tumbled into a net loss of STG3.0 billion ($A4.4 billion) last year and slashed its shareholder dividend, sparking a slump in the group's share price. The loss after tax, owing mainly to a massive writedown following the...

 

US weekly jobless claims fall

NEW claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week to 340,000, suggesting continued modest strength in the jobs market on the eve of steep federal spending cuts. Claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs across the country, fell by 7,000 in the...

 
Women inspired to take aim at leadership roles

Women inspired to take aim at leadership roles

MORE than three in four girls and young women aspire to leadership roles, and many nominate a female boss as the most inspiring in their lives, a survey has found. Results of the YWCA "She Speaks" survey of 1650 women aged from 15 to 30...

 

US trade gap widens in January

THE US trade deficit grew sharply in January after a plunge in December, government figures show. The Commerce Department reported the trade gap rose to $US44.4 billion ($A43.5 billion), up from a revised $US38.1 billion in December. Exports fell by...

 

US stocks open higher after Dow record

US stocks have opened higher after central banks in Europe, Britain, Japan and Brazil held off from further loosening already accommodative monetary policies despite facing weak growth. Five minutes into trade on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial...

 

British PM vows to continue austerity

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron says his government will stick to the path of austerity despite a turbulent few weeks in which the country's credit rating has been downgraded. Cameron said in a speech in a factory in West Yorkshire on Thursday...

 

High-octane dividends for investors

Not just any old banger will do, though. According to the annual Knight Frank Wealth Report released this week, a ''truly investment grade car'' bought in 2002 would have appreciated by up to 395 per cent over the past 10 years. That makes cars easily...

 

Chevron's bet on shale Down Under makes target of Senex

Last week, Chevron made the biggest single investment in shale in Australia, agreeing to pay as much as $US339 million ($A330 million) for a stake in Beach Energy's Cooper Basin prospects. Shares in Senex, which also explores in the Cooper Basin, have...

 

Spectacular rise and fall of the Sun King

Dubbed the ''Sun King'', Shi Zhengrong converted a PhD in electrical engineering in solar technology at the University of NSW into a fortune worth $3 billion when he debuted on BRW's rich list in 2006. By 2007, Time magazine had dubbed Dr Shi, an...

 

GPO to get makeover amid retail competition

But owner ISPT said the GPO was ''not closing'' and would ''definitely not'' become a hotel, denying claims on social media that the retail precinct was ''dead'' and plans were under way to transform the heritage-listed property into boutique...

 

Westpac jobs to stay for now: Kelly

After a recent wave of ''offshoring'' in the financial services sector, Mrs Kelly defended the practice on Thursday, saying it allowed the bank to provide better services at lower cost. Despite these benefits, she said Westpac would not replace any...

 

Debt an answer, but Moody's hovers

Victoria has no mining industry to speak of, and is the state most reliant on manufacturers who have been side-swiped by the Australian dollar. Despite that, it has matched NSW for growth in demand in four out of the past five years. The problem for...

 

Battling the dollar, Jacob's Creek looks to head upstream

Relying on innovation, the introduction of new blends and heavy advertising in the Australian market, Jacob's Creek this year raised its price by $1 a bottle for its entry-level wines, following similar price rises in offshore markets. Pernod chief...

 
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