Edition:
United Kingdom

Nikhil Nainan

Canada's Couche-Tard sweetens proposal for Caltex Australia, offers $5.8 billion

26 Nov 2019

Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc sweetened an approach for Caltex Australia with a A$8.61 billion ($5.8 billion) offer, a day after Caltex said it could carve out some of its convenience shop sites.

'A free pass to pedophiles': Australian lawmaker slams Westpac

25 Nov 2019

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Westpac Banking Corp must pay the price for giving "a free pass to pedophiles" as the corporate watchdog began investigating the lender over millions of breaches of money laundering laws.

New Zealand's a2 Milk raises margin outlook as marketing pays off

19 Nov 2019

New Zealand's a2 Milk Company raised its operating profit margin forecast on Tuesday on the back of higher marketing spending, sending its shares to a two-month high.

Australia approves China-government backed buyout of dairy firm Bellamy's

15 Nov 2019

Australia cleared a dairy producer part-owned by the Chinese government to buy local infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia Ltd for A$1.43 billion (£766.08 million), but imposed several conditions amid a potential backlash.

Amazon Australia signs up Zip Co buy now, pay later service

07 Nov 2019

Amazon Inc's Australia unit has signed up Zip Co Ltd to offer its buy now, pay later (BNPL) service on the U.S. giant's local retail website, sending shares in Zip soaring by more than 20%.

Banks, led by ANZ, pull Australian shares lower

31 Oct 2019

Oct 31 A profit miss from Australia's fourth-largest lender pulled its peers and the country's benchmark index lower on Thursday, despite gains in markets across the rest of Asia after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates.

Trade deal hiccup ends Australian shares seven-day winning run

30 Oct 2019

* Domestic data shows slowing consumer price inflation (Updates to close)

Australian shares extend winning run on trade optimism

29 Oct 2019

Oct 29 Australian shares closed higher on Tuesday, extending its winning streak to seven sessions as investors banked on Beijing and Washington finalising a first-stage trade deal next month.

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian FX inches up as clarity awaited on Brexit, other risks

25 Oct 2019

* South Korea's won set for 4th week of gains * Rupiah likely to post weekly gain on cabinet boost * Singapore industrial production beats expectations (Adds text, updates prices) By Nikhil Nainan Oct 25 Most Asian currencies managed minor gains against the dollar on Friday, but investors refrained from big bets while awaiting developments in the Brexit drama and Sino-U.S. trade talks as well as next week's Federal Reserve meeting. Economic data from many nations in all corners of the world have signalled slowing global growth, and the Federal Reserve is expected to cut rates again next week. Sentiment towards most Asian currencies has improved in the past two weeks, a Reuters poll showed, with many regional currencies set to post weekly gains against the dollar. But much of the improvement is rooted in belief there will be at least a partial resolution of the Sino-U.S. trade war. The yuan was little changed on Friday, but on track for a third week of gains. The Korean won was weaker on Friday but is set to strengthen 0.6% against the dollar over the week - running its streak of winning weeks to four. Data on Thursday showed growth slowed more than expected in the third quarter, though exports - the most important driver - showed some signs of recovery. Singapore industrial production in September beat expectations, rising for the first time in five months. The local dollar was flat. The rupiah eked out gains against the dollar, a day after Indonesia's central bank cut its benchmark rate by 25 basis points. It was the fourth straight cut since July. The currency has strengthened 0.7% this week, more than erasing losses from last week, as investors hope Indonesia's new cabinet will be able to push ahead major reforms. Some analysts see only one more cut in the near term , with HSBC saying Bank Indonesia should maintain a prudent monetary policy given the "fickle nature of portfolio flows." BofA Merrill Lynch, in a note, said "monetary policy transmission remains a problem, despite the central bank continuing to describe the pass-through as 'effective'." The Thai baht strengthened 0.2%, the most in the region. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0509 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.640 108.61 -0.03 Sing dlr 1.364 1.3633 +0.00 Taiwan dlr 30.573 30.586 +0.04 Korean won 1174.600 1172.9 -0.14 Baht 30.210 30.27 +0.20 Peso 51.280 51.29 +0.02 Rupiah 14045.000 14054 +0.06 Rupee 70.990 71.01 +0.03 Ringgit 4.186 4.183 -0.07 Yuan 7.072 7.0695 -0.04 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.640 109.56 +0.85 Sing dlr 1.364 1.3627 -0.06 Taiwan dlr 30.573 30.733 +0.52 Korean won 1174.600 1115.70 -5.01 Baht 30.210 32.55 +7.75 Peso 51.280 52.47 +2.32 Rupiah 14045.000 14375 +2.35 Rupee 70.990 69.77 -1.72 Ringgit 4.186 4.1300 -1.34 Yuan 7.072 6.8730 -2.82 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

EM ASIA FX-Most Asian currencies inch up as traders await c.bank decisions

24 Oct 2019

* South Korea Q3 GDP slips, exports show some signs of recovery * Indonesia's c.bank likely to cut rates by 25 basis points * Worst may be over for Asia export slowdown - BofA Merrill Lynch (Adds text, updates prices) By Nikhil Nainan Oct 24 Most Asian currencies edged up on Thursday ahead of central bank policy meetings and in the absence of new signals or developments in the Sino-U.S. trade war and the Brexit saga. Indonesia's central bank is widely expected to cut its benchmark rate for a fourth time since July as it seeks to spur growth for an economy likely to slow in 2019. The rupiah was flat ahead of the decision. The currency has benefited this week from Indonesia's new cabinet that many hope would push through major reforms to boost investment and growth. OCBC, in a note, said Bank Indonesia may supplement the rate cut with soft rhetoric, and, if so, would "serve as reminders that the Asian macro outlook remains weighed down, even if it may not be dislocating lower." The U.S.-China trade war and political uncertainty elsewhere has dented global economic growth, and has seen central banks adopt more policy-easing measures. Trade-reliant economies in Asia have been especially impacted. Economic growth in South Korea slowed more than expected in the third quarter, though exports - the most important driver - showed some signs of recovery. The won was among the best performing currencies on Thursday, advancing 0.1%. The country's central bank has left the door open to further policy easing. "Looser fiscal and monetary policy should help the economy to regain some momentum in the quarters ahead," Capital Economics said in a note. Taiwan's dollar also strengthened. For the overall region, "it seems likely that the worst of the export slowdown is behind us, providing marginal support to Asia FX if the data improves into next year," BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research said in a note. The Indian rupee, the Singapore dollar and Chinese yuan were flat. The Malaysian ringgit gained 0.1%. The government is working to resolve a spat with India that has resulted in calls to boycott Malaysian palm oil, a key export product. On Wednesday, both Malaysia and Singapore said consumer prices in September rose more slowly than expected. The Philippines peso weakened 0.2% to 51.080 a dollar. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0541 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous day Pct Move Japan yen 108.590 108.68 +0.08 Sing dlr 1.362 1.3620 +0.00 Taiwan dlr 30.565 30.611 +0.15 Korean won 1171.600 1172.4 +0.07 Baht 30.280 30.29 +0.03 Peso 51.080 51 -0.16 Rupiah 14025.000 14025 +0.00 Rupee 70.913 70.91 -0.00 Ringgit 4.183 4.186 +0.07 Yuan 7.067 7.0667 +0.00 Change so far in 2019 Currency Latest bid End 2018 Pct Move Japan yen 108.590 109.56 +0.89 Sing dlr 1.362 1.3627 +0.05 Taiwan dlr 30.565 30.733 +0.55 Korean won 1171.600 1115.70 -4.77 Baht 30.280 32.55 +7.50 Peso 51.080 52.47 +2.72 Rupiah 14025.000 14375 +2.50 Rupee 70.913 69.77 -1.61 Ringgit 4.183 4.1300 -1.27 Yuan 7.067 6.8730 -2.74 (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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