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Apr 27, 2011

Financial & Forex Info | The Australian BusinessBriefing: China's CEOs want action: BHP

 Update for Thu Apr 28 08:25:34 EST 2011
China's CEOs want action: BHP
Chinas CEO Michael Sainsbury, China correspondent CHINA'S giant state-owned companies are becoming frustrated with delays in commissioning projects in Australia.
Wall St rallies on Fed's guiding hand
Wall Street Brendan Conway US stocks surged to new multi-year highs on confidence that the Fed will continue to guide the economy and keep the sharemarket humming.
Bernanke on message in media debut
Ben Bernanke Michael R. Crittenden BEN Bernanke fielded a wide variety of questions at his first-ever media conference, ranging from interest rates to rising petrol prices.
$A at record as bears claw greenback
Australian dollar Erin McCarthy THE Australian dollar rose to a new post-float high as the Fed freed US dollar bears from any uncertainty about pummelling the greenback.
Shorten concedes on funds reforms
Bill Shorten Geoffrey Newman THE federal government has made concessions to the financial services industry in its proposed reforms to the financial advice system.
CPI data heightens chance of rate rise
RBA Scott Murdoch THE Reserve Bank could contemplate an interest rate rise in the next six months if the March quarter inflation spike persists.
US home scams on the rise Down Under
US housing foreclosure Bridget Carter THE number of spruikers promising to enrich Australians by cashing in on the distressed US housing market has soared in the past six months.
Milk wars 'not a threat to farmers'
Dairy cow Damon Kitney CLAIMS that the milk discounting war between the major retailers is threatening the viability of the dairy industry are "exaggerated".
Financial Markets
$A at record as bears claw greenback
Australian dollar Erin McCarthy THE Australian dollar rose to a new post-float high as the Fed freed US dollar bears from any uncertainty about pummelling the greenback.
NZ central bank keeps rates on hold
Wall St rallies on Fed's guiding hand
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Oil prices rise as inventories fall
Oil David Bird OIL prices settled higher, spurred by a sharp decline in petrol inventories and by expectations that Fed policy will keep the US dollar weak.
Gold hits record as Fed chief speaks
Santos lifts stake in gas play
More Mining & Energy Coverage

ABC News Australia | Australia Business News: Government, not miners, must boost health investment: MP

Government, not miners, must boost health investment: MP
A central Queensland MP says the State Government, not mining and energy companies, needs to invest more in health infrastructure.

Cycling group welcomes Swanston St car ban
Bicycle Victoria has welcomed news that Melbourne City Council has signed off on plans for a total ban on cars in Swanston Street.

'Gagged' firefighter to testify at flood inquiry
A volunteer firefighter will give evidence at Queensland's flood inquiry in Toowoomba on the Darling Downs today, saying he was gagged from speaking out about the management of the disaster.

More Business Stories > 

Financial & Forex Info News | The Australian Capital Circle: Julia and Tim London-bound

Capital Circle Newsletter

Julia and Tim London-bound
Julia and Tim are off to the royal wedding as Wayne Swan hunkers down

PM Julia Gillard departs China for London this morning to attend the royal wedding with partner Tim Mathieson.
Acting PM Wayne Swan is in Canberra for budget meetings. He leaves for Brisbane tonight.
Opposition LeaderTony Abbott is in Alice Springs where he will meet with local elders to discuss social and housing problems.
Busy Bill: It's a treasurer's time to shine, but there are also opportunities for an ambitious deputy. As the budget approaches, Bill Shorten is pumping out press releases at the rate of about two to every one issued by Wayne Swan. Still, he's got some catching up to do if he wants to reach the levels of pre-budget busyness attained by his predecessor, Nick Sherry.
Masterclass: Still on the budget, those in the know continue to marvel at the National Health and Medical Research Council's extraordinary success in beating off Finance with a stick. Research was facing the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts, but won a reprieve last week. The same thing happened in 2008, when the-PM Kevin Rudd stepped in to personally veto proposed cuts.
Defensive: The Greens put out their latest media contact list yesterday with the glamorously-named Paris Lord the new spokeswoman for up-and-comer Sarah Hanson-Young. They can be a bit hit and miss on providing comment, but to our minds, they're still better than defence public affairs who, despite a looming shake-up, can still take more than 24 hours to respond to routine inquiries.
In Canberra today...
House of Representatives Standing Committee: Infrastructure and Communication, on the role and potential of the National Broadband Network.
Legal & Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, on the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010 No. 2.
ANU poll launch - The Internet and Civil Society.
Launch of the latest AMP-NATSEM report on differences in early childhood development.

The Economist: Selected New Articles: Democracy in America | Babbage | Blighty | Johnson | Buttonwood | Latest Economist Debate

Democracy in America discusses why the rich don't always see themselves as such

Babbage explains why Japan has the wrong kind of wind for ordinary turbines

Eastern approaches takes a boring train journey that tells a fascinating story

Blighty asks how Britain should ration medical transport

Johnson explains the phonotactics of thinking up company names

Buttonwood considers bubbles, busts and China

Our latest Economist Debate asks: should Britain adopt the alternative vote?

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: # U.S. employers shift to temp workers

Personal Finance Daily
APRIL 27, 2011

Wednesday's Personal Finance stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

After a recession ends, companies who see their business improving often refill their ranks by first hiring temp workers. Then, only after finding their company on more solid economic ground, do they hire full-time employees. But what if that second step of the process never happens? That is, what if employers just stick with temps and other so-called contingent workers?

That could be happening now, but it's hard to know, as the government does not have recent data on contingent workers. As Ruth Mantell writes in her column today, there's recent data on temp workers who work through agencies — and their employment figures certainly are up in recent months. But we don't really know what's happening with other contingent workers in the aftermath of the economic downturn. Read Ruth's story to find out more.

Also, don't miss Ruth's piece on the unique challenges free-lancers and other contract workers face in today's economy, and read Robert Powell's take on what the end of QE2 will mean for your bond portfolio.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


U.S. employers shift to temp workers

As companies remain wary about hiring in this tough economy, more have turned to temp workers. That shift could be bad news for employee wages and benefits.
Read more: U.S. employers shift to temp workers.

In this economy, free-lancers face unique challenges

Ever since she got laid off almost two years ago, Vanessa Pyne has been free-lancing. She has enough work to keep busy but, like other contract workers, faces challenges that full-time employees do not.
Read more: In this economy, free-lancers face unique challenges.


What QE2's end will mean for your bond portfolio

All across America, investors are talking about one thing and it's not the royal wedding. It has to do with the Federal Reserve, and the topic is this: What sort of opportunities might arise or disappear after Quantitative Easing II, or QE2, ends in June?
Read more: What QE2's end will mean for your bond portfolio.

To make money in stocks, follow the big money

To understand which stocks are likely to advance the most in this market cycle, you need to know who the big buyers are and what they're after. Note to Google: It's not you.
Read more: To make money in stocks, follow the big money.


Sony gets hacked — are you next?

The media, obsessed with the royal wedding in England and the Obama birther issue, shouldn't gloss over a chilling story with genuine news implications: the bombshell that a hacker infiltrated Sony.
Read more: Sony gets hacked — are you next?


Reaction to Federal Reserve's U.S. outlook

Investors and economists see little change in Federal Reserve's outlook on the U.S. economy after the central bank's latest review.
Read more: Reaction to Federal Reserve's U.S. outlook.

Fed holds rates, bond-buy plan ahead of conference

Central bank leaves its key interest rate at 0% to 0.25% and confirms it will complete its $600 billion bond-buying program at the end of June. In a statement, the Fed expresses slightly more concern about inflation.
Read more: Fed holds rates, bond-buy plan ahead of conference.

A reader's guide to the historic Fed day

What to watch for on the day of the Federal Reserve interest-rate decision, forecast and Bernanke press conference.
Read more: A reader's guide to the historic Fed day.

Saying little while saying a lot

Just as a good poker player plays his cards close to his vest, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is unlikely to reveal much in his news conference.
Read more: Saying a little while saying a lot.


Obama's detailed birth certificate released

Calling the so-called ‘birther' issue a distraction, President Obama urges more focus on problems such as high gasoline prices and unemployment.
Read more: Obama's detailed birth certificate released.

Regulators eye new capital for derivatives units

Two top federal agencies charged with putting key parts of the Dodd-Frank Act into effect again move forward on implementing regulations, this time to govern the $450 trillion derivatives market. But opponents, including a key House Republican, push back..
Read more: Regulators eye new capital for derivatives units.

Panetta, Petraeus in line for Defense, CIA

The White House is reportedly set to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as defense secretary and replace Panetta with Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Read more: Panetta, Petraeus in line for Defense, CIA

Budget backlash: Paul Ryan as punching bag

As gas prices rocket to new highs, President Obama has to be thankful that Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan wants to throw seniors and the poor to the wolves so that he can cut taxes further for the rich.
Read more: Budget backlash, and Paul Ryan as punching bag.

Orders for durable goods rise 2.5% in March

Orders for long-lasting U.S. goods climb 2.5% in March, spurred by higher demand for transportation equipment, computers and defense-related products.
Read more: Orders for durable goods rise 2.5% in March.

Financial & Forex Info | Kitco New York Market Close Report

New York Market Close Apr 27/11 05:21 PM EDT

NYT: Afternoon Business News: Fed Notes Inflation but Sees Higher Costs as Temporary


Fed Notes Inflation but Sees Higher Costs as Temporary

The Fed chief argues that the central bank was doing all it could to increase employment without unduly risking higher inflation.

Supreme Court Ruling Places Limits on Class Actions

In a 5-4 split, justices said a California law invalidating contracts that ban class-action arbitration with businesses was pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

J.&J. to Buy Synthes for $21.3 Billion

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to buy the medical equipment maker Synthes for $21.3 billion in cash and stock, in one of the biggest deals ever in the health care sector.

Derivatives Firms Face New Capital Rules

Financial regulators proposed new rules on Wednesday that would require large derivatives trading firms to bolster their capital cushions, the latest attempt to reduce risk in the $600 trillion swaps market.

BP Earnings Down Despite Higher Oil Price

The British oil giant said earnings were reduced by assets sales to pay for repercussions from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Financial & Forex Info | Reuters - Daily Investor Update: Nasdaq ends at 10-year high in Bernanke-fueled rally

Nasdaq ends at 10-year high in Bernanke-fueled rally
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq jumped to a 10-year high as U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's first-ever press conference did nothing to short-circuit investors' optimistic outlook on the economy. | Full Article

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway says it may sue Sokol
April 27, 2011 04:30 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway on Wednesday said David Sokol misled the company in the way he disclosed his financial interest in Lubrizol Corp before pushing Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett to buy it. | Full Article
EBay profit tops forecasts on higher sales
April 27, 2011 04:34 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - EBay Inc reported a higher than expected quarterly profit as it sold much more merchandise on its marketplaces and its PayPal payment system was used by more merchants. | Full Article
Fed signals no rush to tighten after bond buying
April 27, 2011 04:13 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve signaled on Wednesday it is in no rush to scale back its support for the U.S. recovery as it cut its forecast for 2011 economic growth. | Full Article
Starbucks Q2 fails to dazzle as shares slip
April 27, 2011 04:24 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp's quarterly earnings failed to impress as Japan's earthquake and the bankruptcy of cafe partner Borders Group Inc weighed on profit. | Full Article
Durable goods data shows manufacturing sturdy
April 27, 2011 02:20 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key gauge of U.S. manufacturing rose in March and new orders in February were stronger than initially thought, indicating a vibrant factory sector even as the economy slowed in the first quarter. | Full Article
Two hundred Baathists resign in Syria's Deraa
April 27, 2011 04:36 PM ET
AMMAN (Reuters) - Two hundred members of Syria's ruling Baath Party from the province of Deraa and surrounding regions resigned on Wednesday in protest against an attack by security forces on the southern city. | Full Article
Obama to shake up security team, Panetta to Pentagon
April 27, 2011 04:22 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will name Leon Panetta, a veteran Washington politician and the current CIA director, as U.S. defense secretary as he resets his national security team ahead of the 2012 presidential campaign and a battle over the Pentagon budget. | Full Article
GE sees best profit outlook in a decade, execs say
April 27, 2011 04:05 PM ET
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - General Electric Co sees its best earnings growth prospects in a decade as the global economic recovery drives demand for the heavy energy and aviation equipment it makes, top executives said. | Full Article
To quell debate, Obama issues birth document
April 27, 2011 01:36 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday released a longer version of his birth certificate to answer Republican charges he was not born in America, and blasted "carnival barkers" who refuse to let the issue die. | Full Article
Which hospitals have more problems after surgery?
Scientists oppose European stem cell patent ban
Should hysterectomy mean the ovaries come out too?
WHO warns of enormous burden of chronic disease
Study probes how surgery makes diabetes disappear

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: U.S. stocks post strong gains after Fed

By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock gains intensified Wednesday after the Federal Reserve reiterated its vow to stimulate economic growth with low interest rates, and said a pickup in inflation would likely be short-lived.
“The Fed wants to present itself as having a plan, being consistent and not adding to the uncertainty in the market. You may not like the track it’s on, but you can be confident of where it’s going, and that consistency translates into a positive for the market,” said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Impact of FOMC statement Kelly Evans leads a discussion about the impact of the latest statement by the Federal Reserve and the decision to leave interest rates unchanged.

In addressing reporters, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke downplayed the possibility of a third round of quantitative easing, saying the trade-offs had become less attractive.
“Ending QE2 is just a reduction in further easing rather than any form of new tightening, and he made that clear,” according to Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.
In their statement, central-bank policy makers said they would end $600 billion of bond purchases as planned in June. Read more about the Fed’s statement.
After ending at multiyear highs Tuesday, the U.S. benchmark indexes had wavered near the flat line through the first half of Wednesday’s session, then headed more definitively into positive territory after the FOMC statement..

The Washington Post | Post Politics Afternoon Edition: White House to reshuffle national security team

The Washington Post
Politics Afternoon Edition


  1. White House to reshuffle national security team

    Obama to pick Leon Panetta for Pentagon chief, Afghan war commander Gen. David H. Petraeus in the top CIA job, U.S. officials said.
    » Read full article
  2. Obama releases full birth certificate

    White House produced a copy in an effort to put questions about where he was born to rest.
    » Read full article
  3. Fed to keep low interest rates, end bond-buying in June

    The Federal Reserve will end its program to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy in June, but will keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future.
    » Read full article
  4. Ezra Klein: The GOP hearts ObamaCare?

    It turns out that the GOP's skepticism of ObamaCare melts away when you're talking about applying it to seniors. In fact, it's now the official Republican plan for the over-65 group.
    » Read full article
  5. Leahy urges Apple, Google to testify at hearing

    In letters to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Google CEO Larry Page, the Judiciary Committee chairman said that consumers deserve to know how new technology affects their privacy and security.
    » Read full article

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: Bernanke says inflation means no QE3

By Steve Goldstein 
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke against the possibility of a third round of quantitative easing, saying the trade-offs are "less attractive at this point." He said inflation has got higher and inflation expectations are a bit higher, so it's not clear that there can be "substantial" improvement in payrolls without some additional inflation risk. To get "lots of job growth, we have to keep inflation under control."

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: U.S. stocks draw slight lift from Fed statement

By Kate Gibson
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks tipped modestly higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said its bond-buying program would end on schedule, with eyes turning to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's coming news conference. "There is very little change in Fed speak, guns will still blaze until June 30th and I don't expect much different when Ben speaks at 2:15 p.m.," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed DJIA +0.38% added 41.29 points to 12,636.66. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x SPX +0.14% rose 1.49 points to 1,348.73. The Nasdaq Composite /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp COMP +0.24% gained 4.03 points to 2,851.57.

Gold Investment Digest Q1, 2011 Key Findings

Key findings from the latest Gold Investment Digest show that:

  • The gold price rose by 2.4% during Q1 to US$1,439.00/oz by 31 March 2011, on the London PM fix, a more modest rise relative to average gains of 6.2% per quarter over the past two years.
  • By the end of Q1, ETFs held a total of 2,110.3 tonnes of gold worth US$97.6 billion, compared with the high of 2,167.4 tonnes at 31 December 2010, or US$97 billion – a modest net outflow in the quarter.
  • Central banks continued to be net buyers of gold in Q1 2011 with emerging market countries, including Russia and Bolivia, being among the key net buyers. As a group, the official sector holds 18% of all above ground stocks of gold.

Financial & Forex Info | Reuters - Deals Today

Johnson & Johnson is to buy Swiss medical devices maker Synthes for $21.6 billion in its largest ever buy, giving J&J a leading position in equipment to treat trauma. Synthes, which posted sales of $3.7 billion in 2010, makes nails, screws and plates to fix broken bones, as well as artificial spine discs. "It is surprising the deal has been struck between cash and shares. The market consensus, and our view, was it would be all cash, so the quality of the take-out is slightly lower than we anticipated," said Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Jungling.

Phone company CenturyLink is to buy Savvis for about $2.5 billion in cash and stock to beef up its data center business as it looks to meet the growing demand for cloud-based services. The deal comes at a time when regional phone companies like CenturyLink, which acquired rival Qwest for $10.6 billion last year, are looking at ways to boost their business as consumers continue to disconnect their home phones in favor of Internet services and cellphones.

News Corp is expected to receive around 5 or more bids by the end of this week to buy all or part of MySpace, valuing the one-time social networking pioneer at more than $100 million, a source said.

Reputation is dead on Wall Street and a long list of traders responsible for disastrous mortgage bets who have easily found high paying jobs in finance is evidence, writes The New York Times’s Steven Davidoff. And financial clients are not avoiding doing business with banks that were skewered in Congress, including Goldman Sachs, which has been attacked for purportedly taking short positions against its own clients, adds Davidoff.

A growing number of high-end homes are selling at a loss or facing repossession by lenders in Las Vegas, which already has the highest rate of foreclosure filings among large U.S. cities, writes Bloomberg's John Gittelsohn. In the 15 months through March, at least 25 houses in the Las Vegas area changed hands for more than $3 million, with at least seven doing so through foreclosure or by selling at a loss, adds Gittelsohn, citing two sources.