10 May 2013
- The Australian share market pushed higher this week, on the back of a stronger US market that traded above 15,000 for the first time.
- The Aussie dollar has come under pressure as a result of weaker economic data and this weeks cut in local interest rates…an $A below parity is now a real possibility.
- Orica announced a net profit of $276.6m, a 6% lift on the $263.4m recorded in the previous corresponding period.
- National Australia Bank Ltd, continued the good run of improved banks results, but its numbers showed growth rates below its major competitors. Cash profit climbed 3.1% to A$2.92 billion in the 6 months to March 31. CEO Clyne plans to shed A$800 million in cost over five years as the bank simplifies products and invests in new technology.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia reduced the official cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.75%, after holding it for three consecutive months. The cut pushed the official cash rate lower than the previous record set during the financial crisis in April 2009. In a statement accompanying the decision, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens provided some mixed messages on the way forward. Commentators are split down the middle on a further cut next month. (Please click hear AMP Chief Economist Shane Oliver’s’ view on where interest rates are headed)
- According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian retail sales slid in March. The data showed retail spending dropped 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted $21.87bn in the month. The largest drag on sales was clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, which declined 4.2%.
- New data out Wednesday showed unemployment fell slightly in March. The data shows the total number of jobs in Australia increased by 0.1% to 11.6m in the month.
- A relatively quiet week on the local political front, highlighted by the announcement of our first referendum since 1999. We will be voting on whether to recognise local government in the constitution.
- Independent MP Tony Windsor is considering trying to help register Clive Palmer's United Australia Party himself as he fears foul-play by one of the major parties in trying to register a party with a similar name! Mr Windsor said yesterday, “I just smell a rat here and my rat smelling capacity is not bad” (that’s a handy attribute to have in his job).
- All the states and and territories expect for WA, QLD and NT, are now on board and have signed up to the National Disability Scheme, Ms Gillard said her government would ‘‘keep working hard’’ to make it truly national.
- Opposition Leader Tony Abbott laid out the Coalition's long-awaited workplace relations plan on Thursday, announcing that individual workers will be able to strike a deal with their employer over hours and working conditions, “but only if they remain better off overall” (as opposed to them trying to strike a deal that left them worse off?).
- Italy's new government has been sworn in. Many remain cautious about the new government's ability to deliver further reform – this seems like a world-wide phenomenon at the moment.
If you would like to discuss this week's wrap in further detail please do not hesitate to contact your Financial Adviser on 02 9324 8888 or alternatively send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org