Deficit trims

Australia's trade deficit narrowed in December, official figures show. The balance on goods and services was a deficit of $427 million in December, seasonally adjusted, compared with an upwardly revised deficit of $2.788 billion in November, the Bureau of Statistics said. During the month, exports rose 3 per cent, while imports fell 6 per cent.


Car sales rise

New vehicle sales made a strong start to the year, despite a sharp drop in purchases by state and federal governments. Sales of new vehicles were up 11.3 per cent last month compared with the same time last year, figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show.


Sara Lee sale

Frozen foods supplier McCain Foods has acquired Kitchens of Sara Lee Australia from Hillshire Brands for $82 million. The acquisition includes a factory at Lisarow in NSW and licence rights to the Sara Lee brand.


Baidu soars

Baidu, which operates China's most popular search engine, says its quarterly profit rose 36 per cent to 2.8 billion yuan ($431 million) as an economic rebound helped boost advertising spending. For the full year, profit rose 57.5 per cent to 10.5 billion yuan.


Atlas increase

Atlas Iron says estimates for its Pilbara iron ore reserves have increased 21 per cent to almost 500 million tonnes over the past seven months. It comes a fortnight after Atlas indicated it could beat its full year sales guidance after shipping more lower-grade iron ore than expected in the December quarter.


Slide continues

Australia's services sector contracted for the 12th consecutive month in January, amid slowing activity in the mining sector and soft retail sales. The Australian Industry Group/Commonwealth Bank Australian Performance of Services Index rose 2.1 points to 45.3 in January. A reading of below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector.


Solid growth

The Indonesian economy grew 6.23 per cent last year, supported by strong private consumption and investment. The Central Statistics Agency said in the three months to the end of December growth came in at 6.11 per cent year on year.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free

Related Articles