The Border Watch : December 31st 2013
BUSINESS Dollar stays low over quiet period SYDNEY: The Australian dollar is continuing on the downward trend that began after the US Federal Reserve decided to taper its economic stimulus program. At 5pm yesterday, the local unit was trading at US88.50c, down from 89.06c on Friday. Easy Forex currency dealer Tony Darvall said the currency was still under pressure from the Fed’s announcement in midDecember because there were no other news of events to give it a lift. The Fed had said it would reduce its bond purchases by $US10 billion to $US75 billion in January and taper the purchases further depending on the strength of the US economic recovery. In the days after the Fed announcement, the Australian dollar fell to a three-year low of US88.21c. “It had a little bounce early last week from that low of 88.20c but since then it’s been under pressure,” Mr Darvall said. “There’s no major news out and it might test that US88.20c level again. “If we break that then we’ll be talking about US88c, which is a big level in the market and will be closely watched and that may be tested in the new year.” Mr Darvall expected the remainder of the week to be quiet for currency markets, with most traders not coming back from their Christmas break until Monday. “Next week is when we’ll see if that US dollar strength will continue because of the tapering,” he said. “We don’t want to start trading until we see the market’s full reaction.” AAP More Aussies buying online Men bigger internet shoppers than women SYDNEY: Australia is seeing a second wave of growth in online shopping, but local retailers aren’t missing out, according to a study. More consumers are buying goods and conducting financial transactions on line, the study of online retail in Australia conducted as part of the World Internet Project, indicates. And three out of 10 Australians now shop on line at least once a week. The study, conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovations and Swinburne University of Technology, looked at online buying habits between 2007 and 2013. “After an apparent plateau between 2009 and 2011, our latest survey confirms that online shopping by Australian consumers grew strongly again between 2011 and 2013,” said Dr Scott Ewing of the centre and Swinburne University of Technology. The average number of online purchases by Australians grew 46.2 per cent from 2011 to 2013, and the monthly value of average purchases grew 5.8 per cent, to $218. Men spend more online, averaging $229 a month, while women on average spend $204. “The good news for Australian businesses is that local retailers are maintaining their share of this growth as Australian consumers maintain their strong preference for shopping with domestically based websites,” Dr Ewing said. IN BRIEF Bonds flat after US hit one-year high PERTH: The Australian bond market was flat in quiet trade after US bond yields hit a one-year high. Bonds were weaker for most of yesterday after the US lead. ANZ head of interest rate research Tony Morriss said the tone on bond markets over the Christmas period was for higher yields and lower prices. “US 10-year government bonds closed their session (last week) at 3 per cent. That is the first time they’ve closed at these levels over the course of this year,” he said. “This should keep upward pressure on bond yield for the time being.” Leighton buys full control of Welspun MELBOURNE: Construction and mining company Leighton Holdings has taken full ownership of its joint venture in India, Leighton Welspun. The company acquired the Welspun Group’s 39.9 per cent stake in the joint venture for $112.05 million, giving it 100 per cent ownership. Leighton will rename the business Leighton India. The joint venture was established in 2010 to capitalise on opportunities in the Indian infrastructure sector. Big spenders: Australians spend about $218 a month online. “Three out of 10 Australians now shop online every week, or more often, compared with two in 10 New Zealanders and one in 10 Swiss.” “Three out of 10 Australians now shop online every week, or more often, compared with two in 10 New Zealanders and one in 10 Swiss. “There has also been a continued major Forge construction shares on work deal SYDNEY: Shares in engineering and construction company Forge Group have soared after it got the go ahead for more work at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia. Forge shares gained 56c, or almost 55 per cent, to $1.585 yesterday, after already rising by 65 per cent last week. In November the company’s The share price plunged from $4.18 to 68.5c when they returned to trading on the market on November 28. The company said Gina Rinehart it had received formal notification to proceed with phase three of construction of the $1.47 billion processing facility at Roy Hill. The contract is worth $830 million to Forge, which is carrying out the shares were suspended from trade for more than three weeks as Forge reviewed the performance of several of its projects. work in a joint venture with Spanish contractor Duro Felguera. The contract is Forge’s largest ever and underpins the company’s order book for the remainder of the 2013-14 financial year, chief executive David Simpson said. AAP 10 - The Border Watch, Tuesday, December 31, 2013 upsurge in the number of Aussies using the internet for financial transactions. “For example, people making travel bookings online grew from 49 per cent in 2007 to 73 per cent in 2013; those paying bills grew Picture: AAP from 43 per cent to 72 per cent; and those purchasing event tickets from 36 per cent to 65 per cent.” Australians also are increasingly buying digital content such as movies, books, music and games, online rather going to a store. The WIP is conducted in 30 countries to compare internet use and behaviour. In Australia, it consists of an annual survey of 1000 people aged 18 or older and has been running since 2007. Iron ore miners shut down as cyclone nears PERTH: Australia’s biggest iron ore miners have stopped loading ships and suspended rail operations as cyclone Christine heads towards the Pilbara coast. The category three system is about 180km north of Port Hedland and 305km north of Karratha, and travelling towards the WA coast. A cyclone warning has been issued for coastal areas from Bidyadanga to Onslow, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo. BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group have suspended their port operations in the region. BHP said “tie-down” activities at Port Hedland, Australia’s largest iron ore export port, have been completed. “Extreme weather preparations continue across our mining operations in line with alerts issued by Department of Fire and Emergency Services,” BHP said. “Any production impacts will be in our next operational report.” The highest priority is to ensure the safety of employees, BHP said. Rio Tinto said ship loading had now stopped, but mine and rail operations continue to operate as normal. Fortescue Metals Group said its Port Hedland operations and rail operations had been secured, in line with the company’s cyclone readiness procedures. “Conditions are being closely monitored and plans will be updated accordingly,” the company said. AAP Coal prices drive down exports value AAP SYDNEY: NSW is on track to receive $1.2 billion in new investment over the next three years, despite lower coal prices bringing down the value of the state’s exports. According to a NSW Trade and Investment Report, NSW service exports grew by 3 per cent last financial year, but goods exports fell 7.1 per cent. Overall, the value of NSW exports dropped by 4 per cent. The report, released yesterday, states the value of coal exports dropped by 7.5 per cent in 2012-13. However, cotton exports rose by 11 per cent in nominal terms to reach a record high of $1.18 billion in 2012– 2013. Iron sand extraction ready to soar WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s iron sand exports may soar to almost 10 million tonnes a year by 2016, as Australia’s BlueScope Steel adds shipping capacity at its Taharoa site and TransTasman Resources remains hopeful of approval for its offshore mining venture. ASX-listed BlueScope said last week it would introduce a 175,000 tonne slurry loading vessel at Taharoa, south of Kawhia, in 2016.
December 27th 2013
January 1st 2014