Australia dollar skids as the economy slows sharply

Australia’s economy slowed sharply in the second half of last year as consumers shut their wallets and housing construction pulled back, data showed on Wednesday, sending the local currency to a two-month trough. The gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed the A$1.8 trillion ($1.32 trillion) economy expanded 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than the 0.3 percent increase economists had forecast in a Reuters poll. The disappointing outcome sent the Australian dollar down 0.4 percent t


Australia’s economy slowed sharply in the second half of last year as consumers shut their wallets and housing construction pulled back, data showed on Wednesday, sending the local currency to a two-month trough. The gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed the A$1.8 trillion ($1.32 trillion) economy expanded 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than the 0.3 percent increase economists had forecast in a Reuters poll. The disappointing outcome sent the Australian dollar down 0.4 percent t
Australia dollar skids as the economy slows sharply Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-06  Authors: brendon thorne, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sharply, outcome, australia, wednesdays, dollar, data, growth, trillion, slows, twomonth, skids, countrys, spending, gdp, showed, economy


Australia dollar skids as the economy slows sharply

Australia’s economy slowed sharply in the second half of last year as consumers shut their wallets and housing construction pulled back, data showed on Wednesday, sending the local currency to a two-month trough.

The gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed the A$1.8 trillion ($1.32 trillion) economy expanded 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than the 0.3 percent increase economists had forecast in a Reuters poll. Third-quarter growth was unrevised at 0.3 percent.

Annual GDP rose a below-trend 2.3 percent, the slowest since mid-2017 and confounding expectations for a 2.5 percent increase.

The dismal figures challenge the optimism of the country’s central bank, which expects growth to pick up to around 3 percent this year. The data also raises questions over whether the country’s recession-free run of 27 years is losing steam.

The disappointing outcome sent the Australian dollar down 0.4 percent to a two-month low of $0.7052.

A major setback in Wednesday’s data came from private consumption, which contributed just 0.2 percent to overall growth as households cut back on spending. The category accounts for about 57 percent of Australia’s GDP.

An escalating decline in Sydney and Melbourne home prices has eaten into consumer wealth at a time when they hold record levels of mortgage debt. A long stretch of unusually slow wages growth has also throttled household incomes, and shows few signs of changing anytime soon.

The sharper-than-expected downturn in the country’s once-booming property market has become a significant point of uncertainty for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which cut its growth and inflation forecasts last month and moved away from a previous tightening bias.

A decline in dwelling construction was one reason for the soft fourth-quarter outcome, while government spending was the only silver lining in Wednesday’s report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-03-06  Authors: brendon thorne, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sharply, outcome, australia, wednesdays, dollar, data, growth, trillion, slows, twomonth, skids, countrys, spending, gdp, showed, economy


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Aussie dollar falls on reported coal ban from China — but analysts see limited impact

The Australian dollar tumbled from levels above $0.7200 to below $0.7100 following reports that China banned coal imports from the country at a major port. Reuters reported on Thursday that customs at the Chinese port of Dalian has banned imported Australian coal since February, and will “cap overall coal imports from all sources to the end of 2019 at 12 million tonnes.” It also said that major ports elsewhere in China prolonged clearing times for Australian coal to at least 40 days. He added th


The Australian dollar tumbled from levels above $0.7200 to below $0.7100 following reports that China banned coal imports from the country at a major port. Reuters reported on Thursday that customs at the Chinese port of Dalian has banned imported Australian coal since February, and will “cap overall coal imports from all sources to the end of 2019 at 12 million tonnes.” It also said that major ports elsewhere in China prolonged clearing times for Australian coal to at least 40 days. He added th
Aussie dollar falls on reported coal ban from China — but analysts see limited impact Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-22  Authors: saheli roy choudhury, carla gottgens, bloomberg, getty images, -vivek dhar, national australia bank
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, china, analysts, falls, australian, times, reported, coal, tumbled, impact, trade, limited, ban, aussie, dollar, australia, chinese, banned


Aussie dollar falls on reported coal ban from China — but analysts see limited impact

The Australian dollar tumbled from levels above $0.7200 to below $0.7100 following reports that China banned coal imports from the country at a major port.

Reuters reported on Thursday that customs at the Chinese port of Dalian has banned imported Australian coal since February, and will “cap overall coal imports from all sources to the end of 2019 at 12 million tonnes.” It also said that major ports elsewhere in China prolonged clearing times for Australian coal to at least 40 days.

On Friday afternoon, the Australian dollar eked out slight gains to trade at $0.7101 at 2:55 p.m. HK/SIN, up from an earlier low of $0.7081. Local coal stocks mostly sold off. Shares of BHP fell 0.42 percent, Whitehaven retraced losses to gain 0.66 percent, Yancoal declined 2.8 percent and New Hope Group tumbled 3.55 percent.

Market speculation suggests Thursday’s report may be a reflection of strains in the political and trade relationship between Australia and China in recent times, Ivan Colhoun, chief economist for markets at the National Australia Bank, said in a note. He added that the reported ban would affect a relatively small portion of the country’s coal exports.

Last year, Australia banned Chinese telecommunication companies Huawei and ZTE from selling 5G technology equipment in the country, citing national security concerns. More recently, Australia rescinded the visa of a prominent Chinese businessman.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-22  Authors: saheli roy choudhury, carla gottgens, bloomberg, getty images, -vivek dhar, national australia bank
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, china, analysts, falls, australian, times, reported, coal, tumbled, impact, trade, limited, ban, aussie, dollar, australia, chinese, banned


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Stocks in Asia mixed as investors digest Fed minutes; Lenovo soars more than 12 percent

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Thursday following an earlier slip in the morning as traders digest a release from the Federal Reserve. Mainland Chinese shares saw losses on the day after a turbulent session which saw stocks swinging between positive and negative territory. The Shanghai composite slipped 0.34 percent to close at 2,751.80 while the Shenzhen component declined 0.256 percent to finish its trading day at 8,451.71. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.15 percent to close at 21


Stocks in Asia were mixed on Thursday following an earlier slip in the morning as traders digest a release from the Federal Reserve. Mainland Chinese shares saw losses on the day after a turbulent session which saw stocks swinging between positive and negative territory. The Shanghai composite slipped 0.34 percent to close at 2,751.80 while the Shenzhen component declined 0.256 percent to finish its trading day at 8,451.71. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.15 percent to close at 21
Stocks in Asia mixed as investors digest Fed minutes; Lenovo soars more than 12 percent Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-21  Authors: eustance huang
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, gained, strong, stocks, asia, 12, close, trading, shenzhen, day, digest, soars, slipped, shares, australia, mixed, fed, lenovo, minutes, investors


Stocks in Asia mixed as investors digest Fed minutes; Lenovo soars more than 12 percent

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Thursday following an earlier slip in the morning as traders digest a release from the Federal Reserve.

Mainland Chinese shares saw losses on the day after a turbulent session which saw stocks swinging between positive and negative territory. The Shanghai composite slipped 0.34 percent to close at 2,751.80 while the Shenzhen component declined 0.256 percent to finish its trading day at 8,451.71. The Shenzhen composite shed 0.269 percent to close at 1,444.35.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose around 0.3 percent in its final hour of trading.

Hong Kong-listed shares of computer maker Lenovo surged more than 12 percent after the company announced a return to profit in the third quarter, surpassing market expectations. Profit for the quarter was $233 million, versus a loss of $289 million in the same period a year earlier when the world’s largest personal computer maker by shipments took a one-off hit, following U.S. tax reform.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.15 percent to close at 21,464.23 while the Topix ended its trading day largely flat at 1,613.50. Shares of Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group, however, slipped 1.63 percent.

The Kospi in South Korea closed slightly lower at 2,228.66, with shares of Samsung Electronics rising 0.11 percent after the company unveiled its new series of Galaxy smartphones.

The ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.7 percent to close at 6,139.20 as the heavily weighted financial subindex added about 1.5 percent. Shares of the country’s so-called Big Four banks gained: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group advanced 1.83 percent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 2.01 percent, Westpac gained 1.32 percent and National Australia Bank edged up 0.69 percent.

The ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China remain the “main focus” for markets and are likely to “provide the next catalyst for a strong move in sentiment,” Rakuten Securities Australia said in a morning note.

“Hopes that the US will extent the March 1 tariff deadline are growing and any confirmation of this should provide a relief rally across stocks and risk trades with implementation probably leading to a strong sell off,” they said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-21  Authors: eustance huang
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, gained, strong, stocks, asia, 12, close, trading, shenzhen, day, digest, soars, slipped, shares, australia, mixed, fed, lenovo, minutes, investors


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Australia has gone 27 years without a recession—here’s what’s behind the country’s economic run

America’s economic expansion is approaching a big milestone. If the U.S. economy keeps humming until July 2019 it would be the longest period of growth on record. The expansion would be exactly one decade and one month old by then. But there’s another country with an even more impressive run. Australia hasn’t had a recession in 27 years.


America’s economic expansion is approaching a big milestone. If the U.S. economy keeps humming until July 2019 it would be the longest period of growth on record. The expansion would be exactly one decade and one month old by then. But there’s another country with an even more impressive run. Australia hasn’t had a recession in 27 years.
Australia has gone 27 years without a recession—here’s what’s behind the country’s economic run Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-08  Authors: andrea miller, kimberley coole, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, australia, 27, milestone, run, countrys, economic, theres, period, recession, whats, recessionheres, expansion, old, month, record, gone, thenbut


Australia has gone 27 years without a recession—here's what's behind the country's economic run

America’s economic expansion is approaching a big milestone. If the U.S. economy keeps humming until July 2019 it would be the longest period of growth on record. The expansion would be exactly one decade and one month old by then.

But there’s another country with an even more impressive run. Australia hasn’t had a recession in 27 years.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-08  Authors: andrea miller, kimberley coole, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, australia, 27, milestone, run, countrys, economic, theres, period, recession, whats, recessionheres, expansion, old, month, record, gone, thenbut


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Australia Christmas retail sales slide in further blow to economy

Australian retail sales slumped in December, capping a lousy quarter of disappointing data in yet another blow for the economic outlook and bolstering expectations the next move in policy rates would be down. Tuesday’s figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed retail sales fell 0.4 percent in December, the worst monthly outcome since a 0.5 percent drop in December 2017. December’s pullback, in part, reflected the impact of discount sales in November which brought spending for


Australian retail sales slumped in December, capping a lousy quarter of disappointing data in yet another blow for the economic outlook and bolstering expectations the next move in policy rates would be down. Tuesday’s figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed retail sales fell 0.4 percent in December, the worst monthly outcome since a 0.5 percent drop in December 2017. December’s pullback, in part, reflected the impact of discount sales in November which brought spending for
Australia Christmas retail sales slide in further blow to economy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-05  Authors: hanna lassen, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, blow, outlook, rate, australia, rates, christmas, spending, policy, terms, retail, slide, rba, sales, quarter, economy


Australia Christmas retail sales slide in further blow to economy

Australian retail sales slumped in December, capping a lousy quarter of disappointing data in yet another blow for the economic outlook and bolstering expectations the next move in policy rates would be down.

Tuesday’s figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed retail sales fell 0.4 percent in December, the worst monthly outcome since a 0.5 percent drop in December 2017.

That compares with expectations for a 0.1 percent decline and an upwardly revised 0.5 percent gain in November thanks to by Black Friday promotions.

Tuesday’s dismal data emboldened rate doves and sent the local dollar below crucial chart support of $0.7200. The Aussie was last fetching 0.7195, a level not seen since Jan.30.

December’s pullback, in part, reflected the impact of discount sales in November which brought spending forward. Online sales added a mere 2.2 percent in original terms in December, after solid gains of 17.8 percent and 10.5 percent in November and October respectively.

For the fourth quarter as a whole, sales were up a mere 0.1 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, and followed a very sedate 0.2 percent gain the previous quarter.

The soft quarter adds to growing evidence of a bumpy outlook for the A$1.8 trillion economy, given household spending accounts for around 57 percent of annual gross domestic product, with property prices also in a downward spiral over the past year.

Consumer spending has been under pressure from record-high household debt and sluggish wage growth, one reason some investors believe the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) could now consider cutting interest rates from an all-time low of 1.50 percent.

Calls from some analysts for the RBA to ease policy has intensified in recent weeks as unwelcome economic news at home and abroad are challenging policymakers’ dogged optimism on growth and their insistence the next move in interest rates will be up.

The RBA is all but certain to leave policy unchanged at its first meeting of 2019 later on Tuesday after sitting on the fence since August 2016.

Futures markets imply around a 50-50 chance of a cut by the end of the year, a remarkable turnaround from just a couple of months ago when investors were positioned for a rate hike.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-05  Authors: hanna lassen, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, blow, outlook, rate, australia, rates, christmas, spending, policy, terms, retail, slide, rba, sales, quarter, economy


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Asia markets: Australia banks, Japan markets, currencies in focus

Shares in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia saw gains on Monday. The Royal Commission which looked into misconduct in Australia’s financial sector released its final report on Monday, with 76 recommendations for practices across banking, insurance, and financial advice. “My message to the financial sector is that misconduct must end and the interests of consumers must now come first. Stocks stateside also gained as the U.S. government released strong jobs growth data that beat expectations. The 30-


Shares in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia saw gains on Monday. The Royal Commission which looked into misconduct in Australia’s financial sector released its final report on Monday, with 76 recommendations for practices across banking, insurance, and financial advice. “My message to the financial sector is that misconduct must end and the interests of consumers must now come first. Stocks stateside also gained as the U.S. government released strong jobs growth data that beat expectations. The 30-
Asia markets: Australia banks, Japan markets, currencies in focus Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: eustance huang
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, misconduct, asia, australia, sector, japan, shares, jobs, focus, close, banks, financial, markets, today, currencies, rose, closed, released


Asia markets: Australia banks, Japan markets, currencies in focus

Shares in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia saw gains on Monday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which closed earlier at 12:00 p.m. HK/SIN today with the eve of the Lunar New Year holidays, edged up 0.21 percent to close at 27,990.21.

Over in Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.46 percent to close at 20,883.77 while the Topix rose 1.07 percent to finish its trading day at 1,581.33. Shares of tech giant Sony closed down 8.07 percent after the company cut its sales and operating revenue forecast for the fiscal year.

The ASX 200 in Australia gained 0.48 percent to close at 5,891.20, with the sectors mostly higher.

The Royal Commission which looked into misconduct in Australia’s financial sector released its final report on Monday, with 76 recommendations for practices across banking, insurance, and financial advice.

“My message to the financial sector is that misconduct must end and the interests of consumers must now come first. From today the sector must change, and change forever,” said Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Stock markets in China and South Korea were closed on Monday due to holidays.

Stocks stateside also gained as the U.S. government released strong jobs growth data that beat expectations. The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists polled by Refinitiv expect the U.S. economy to have added 170,000 jobs in January.

The 30-stock Dow rose 64.22 points to 25,063.89, its sixth straight week of gains and its longest since November 2017. The S&P 500 closed 0.1 percent higher at 2,706.53, while the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.25 percent to 7,263.87.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: eustance huang
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, misconduct, asia, australia, sector, japan, shares, jobs, focus, close, banks, financial, markets, today, currencies, rose, closed, released


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Australia to overhaul regulators after landmark banking inquiry

Australia’s corporate regulators will be subjected to a new oversight body in a shake-up of the banking sector designed to combat the excessive greed and unethical practices that have engulfed some of the country’s biggest financial institutions. The Royal Commission, Australia’s most powerful type of government inquiry, also advised in its landmark report on Monday that remuneration structures across the industry — used to reward everyone from bank sales staff to mortgage brokers — be overhaule


Australia’s corporate regulators will be subjected to a new oversight body in a shake-up of the banking sector designed to combat the excessive greed and unethical practices that have engulfed some of the country’s biggest financial institutions. The Royal Commission, Australia’s most powerful type of government inquiry, also advised in its landmark report on Monday that remuneration structures across the industry — used to reward everyone from bank sales staff to mortgage brokers — be overhaule
Australia to overhaul regulators after landmark banking inquiry Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: william west, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, corporations, australia, billion, countrys, australias, inquiry, banking, biggest, regulators, overhaul, yearlong, financial, wiped, landmark, report


Australia to overhaul regulators after landmark banking inquiry

Australia’s corporate regulators will be subjected to a new oversight body in a shake-up of the banking sector designed to combat the excessive greed and unethical practices that have engulfed some of the country’s biggest financial institutions.

The Royal Commission, Australia’s most powerful type of government inquiry, also advised in its landmark report on Monday that remuneration structures across the industry — used to reward everyone from bank sales staff to mortgage brokers — be overhauled to remove systemic conflicts of interest.

The report’s recommendations were largely supported by the conservative government immediately after its release. It marks the climax of a year-long interrogation of some of Australia’s biggest corporations and business leaders which wiped A$60 billion ($43.45 billion) from the country’s top finance stocks since hearings began one year ago.

The inquiry revealed misconduct had reached into the sector’s upper echelons, with AMP engaging in board-level deception of a regulator over the deliberate charging of customers for financial advice it never gave, costing the fund manager its chairman, CEO and several directors.

The final report from Commissioner Kenneth Hayne, a former High Court justice who led the inquiry, found that the industry’s problems were exacerbated by an unwillingness by corporations to accept responsibility, leading to long delays in compensation payments.

“That is, there remains a reluctance in some entities to form and then to give practical effect to their understanding of what is ethical, of what is efficient, honest and fair, of what is the right thing to do,” the report said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: william west, afp, getty images
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Asian stocks gain despite US-China trade jitters

Major stock indexes in Asia closed higher on Friday despite fresh overnight uncertainties surrounding the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations. The mainland Chinese markets, watched in relation to Beijing’s trade fight with Washington, mostly advanced: The Shanghai composite gained around 0.39 percent to close at about 2,601.72. In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.68 percent to close at 5,905.60, with most sectors seeing gains. The heavily-weighted financial subindex added about 0.37 percent as sh


Major stock indexes in Asia closed higher on Friday despite fresh overnight uncertainties surrounding the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations. The mainland Chinese markets, watched in relation to Beijing’s trade fight with Washington, mostly advanced: The Shanghai composite gained around 0.39 percent to close at about 2,601.72. In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.68 percent to close at 5,905.60, with most sectors seeing gains. The heavily-weighted financial subindex added about 0.37 percent as sh
Asian stocks gain despite US-China trade jitters Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-25  Authors: eustance huang
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, shares, jitters, stocks, asian, games, gained, australia, advanced, added, wong, trade, close, despite, uschina, rose, tencent, gain


Asian stocks gain despite US-China trade jitters

Major stock indexes in Asia closed higher on Friday despite fresh overnight uncertainties surrounding the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The mainland Chinese markets, watched in relation to Beijing’s trade fight with Washington, mostly advanced: The Shanghai composite gained around 0.39 percent to close at about 2,601.72. The Shenzhen component rose 0.29 percent to finish its trading week at approximately 7,595.45 while the Shenzhen composite shed earlier gains to close 0.176 percent lower at about 1,319.97.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.65 percent to 27,569.19. Shares of Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent bounced 4.12 percent on the back of the company receiving approvals for two new games after months of waiting.

“This is a fourth round of approvals and finally Tencent get two games, I think investors will view this as a good sign that (the) China government is finally approving some games for Tencent,” Jackson Wong, associate director at Huarong International Securities, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Friday.

“Approval for Tencent’s games is very important because unlike other gaming companies, Tencent can utilize or monetize their games very well,” Wong said, in reference to the tech giant’s ability to make money from its games.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan added about 0.97 percent to close at 20,773.56 while the Topix index gained 0.87 percent to finish its trading day at 1,566.10. Shares of conglomerate Softbank Group rose 1.83 percent.

Before the market open, official data showed core consumer prices in Tokyo rose 1.1 percent on-year in January, beating an estimated 0.9 percent increase predicted in a Reuters poll. The inflation measure accounts for oil products but does not include fresh food prices.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.52 percent as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics and chipmaker SK Hynix extended their gains from Thursday.

In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.68 percent to close at 5,905.60, with most sectors seeing gains.

The heavily-weighted financial subindex added about 0.37 percent as shares of the country’s so-called Big Four Banks gained. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group was up 1.04 percent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose fractionally, Westpac advanced 0.62 percent and National Australia Bank added 0.65 percent.

“Global financial markets continue to crave certainty on a number of issues and are still finding trends hard to come by as they are pushed and pulled in either direction on an almost daily basis,” analysts at Rakuten Securities Australia said in a morning note.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-25  Authors: eustance huang
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Economist: Expect house prices in Australia to fall further

Economist: Expect house prices in Australia to fall further8 Hours AgoGareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says weakness in house prices in Australia is expected to continue, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, but should bottom out “sometime” in 2019.


Economist: Expect house prices in Australia to fall further8 Hours AgoGareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says weakness in house prices in Australia is expected to continue, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, but should bottom out “sometime” in 2019.
Economist: Expect house prices in Australia to fall further Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-16
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Economist: Expect house prices in Australia to fall further

Economist: Expect house prices in Australia to fall further

8 Hours Ago

Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says weakness in house prices in Australia is expected to continue, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, but should bottom out “sometime” in 2019.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-16
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Saudi woman fleeing alleged abuse heads to Canada for asylum

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted Alqunon to choose Canada over Australia. Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan said Saturday that Australia had moved quickly to process her case but Canada decided to take her in. It got enough public and diplomatic support that Thai officials admitted her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials, who granted her refugee status Wednesday. No country, including the U.S., spoke out publicly in support of Canada in that spat with the Saudis. A


It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted Alqunon to choose Canada over Australia. Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan said Saturday that Australia had moved quickly to process her case but Canada decided to take her in. It got enough public and diplomatic support that Thai officials admitted her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials, who granted her refugee status Wednesday. No country, including the U.S., spoke out publicly in support of Canada in that spat with the Saudis. A
Saudi woman fleeing alleged abuse heads to Canada for asylum Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-12  Authors: lilian suwanrumpha, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, woman, asylum, support, thai, surachate, heads, womens, officials, alleged, saudi, australia, abuse, rights, refugee, fleeing, canada, case


Saudi woman fleeing alleged abuse heads to Canada for asylum

Several other countries, including Australia, had been in talks with the U.N.’s refugee agency to accept Alqunun, Surachate said earlier in the day.

“She chose Canada. It’s her personal decision,” he said.

Canada’s ambassador had seen her off at the airport, Surachate said, adding that she looked happy and healthy.

She thanked everyone for helping her, he said, and added that the first thing she would do upon arrival in Canada would be to start learning the language. She already speaks more than passable English, in addition to Arabic.

The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees welcomed Canada’s decision.

“The quick actions over the past week of the government of Thailand in providing temporary refuge and facilitating refugee status determination by UNHCR, and of the government of Canada in offering emergency resettlement to Ms. Alqunun and arranging her travel were key to the successful resolution of this case,” the agency said in a statement.

It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted Alqunon to choose Canada over Australia. Australian media reported that UNHCR had withdrawn its referral for Alqunon to be resettled in Australia because Canberra was taking too long to decide on her asylum.

UNHCR officials were not immediately available for comment. Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan said Saturday that Australia had moved quickly to process her case but Canada decided to take her in. He added that, ultimately, the outcome was a good one. “She’s going to be safe,” he said.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, cited Alqunun’s “courage and perseverance.”

“This is so much a victory for everyone who cares about respecting and promoting women’s rights, valuing the independence of youth to forge their own way, and demanding governments operate in the light and not darkness,” he said in a statement.

Alqunun was stopped Jan. 5 at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport by immigration police who denied her entry and seized her passport.

She barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and took her plight onto social media. It got enough public and diplomatic support that Thai officials admitted her temporarily under the protection of U.N. officials, who granted her refugee status Wednesday.

Alqunun’s father arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday, but his daughter refused to meet with him. Surachate said the father — whose name has not been released — denied physically abusing Alqunun or trying to force her into an arranged marriage, which were among the reasons she gave for her flight. He said Alqunun’s father wanted his daughter back but respected her decision.

“He has 10 children. He said the daughter might feel neglected sometimes,” Surachate said.

Canada’s decision to grant her asylum could further upset the country’s relations with Saudi Arabia.

In August, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom and withdrew its own ambassador after Canada’s Foreign Ministry tweeted support for women’s right activists who had been arrested. The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in Canada to leave.

No country, including the U.S., spoke out publicly in support of Canada in that spat with the Saudis.

On Friday, Trudeau avoided answering a question about what the case would mean for relations with the kingdom, but he said Canada will always unequivocally stand up for human rights and women’s rights around the world.

Canadian officials were reluctant to comment further until she landed safely in Canada.

Alqunun had previously said on Twitter that she wanted to seek refuge in Australia.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne met Thursday with senior Thai officials in Bangkok. She later said Australia was assessing Alqunun’s resettlement request.

Payne said she also raised Australia’s concerns with Thai officials about Hakeem al-Araibi, a 25-year-old former member of Bahrain’s national soccer team who was granted refugee status in Australia in 2017 after fleeing his homeland, where he said he was persecuted and tortured.

He was arrested while vacationing in Thailand in November due to an Interpol notice in which Bahrain sought his custody after he was sentenced in absentia in 2014 to 10 years in prison for allegedly vandalizing a police station — a charge he denies. Bahrain is seeking his extradition.

Al-Araibi’s case is being considered by Thailand’s justice system, she said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-12  Authors: lilian suwanrumpha, afp, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, woman, asylum, support, thai, surachate, heads, womens, officials, alleged, saudi, australia, abuse, rights, refugee, fleeing, canada, case


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