FOFA announcement possible today, rate cut could be on the cards

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Could today be FOFA announcement day?... US inflation data disappoints but markets hold up... RBA minutes suggest a rate cut could be closer than predicted... uneasy times for mining as iron ore price falls... and New Zealand wants to double exports to the Philippines…

Financial advice reforms could be announced today
There is speculation that the basic plans for the new look Future of Financial Advice Reforms could be announced by the Finance Minister today. Senator Mathias Cormann is expected to reject a proposal for banks to use tellers to advise on products in return for upfront fees and trailing commissions. With banks owning or at least controlling around 80 per cent of the financial planning industry, those making up the other 20 per cent are keen to protect their interests and gain more advantage if they can. Read the full story.

Europe ends the day up
Tuesday was a bumpy day of trading for Europe’s share markets but they mostly ended up despite the Iraq conflict and disappointing inflation figures from the US. With the US planning to send a small number of troops to Iraq to protect its embassy, the Iraqi government boosting defences in Baghdad and talks between the west and Iran, the markets seemed fairly un-phased by the continued unrest. Markets were disrupted for a time by higher-than-expected inflation data from the US which may mean a hike in interest rates when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets on Wednesday. Read the full story.
Rate cut possible as Aussie stays high
The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s recent meeting, released yesterday, reveal concern at the continued high rate of the Australian dollar, despite some economic conditions that would normally have brought it down. The US economy is now predicted to grow slower than previously expected and is not projected to have full employment until 2017, two years later than had been expected. The fall in iron ore prices is another factor that is calling previous decisions into question. The Bank’s minutes record that the interest rate is at an historic high, prompting analysts to suggest a rate cut may be on the way, despite having been dismissed earlier in the year. Read the full story.
Uneasy times for miners as iron ore price drops
With a slump in the price of iron ore, to 2012 levels, miners are understandably concerned. However the boss of BC Iron says the industry is used to downturns and that the company is well placed to ride out the storm. Although he didn’t dismiss the possibility of a reduction in operational services if the price stays low, he was optimistic that job losses would be avoided and that the price would rise again to between 100 and 120 US dollars per tonne from their current US $89 level. Read the full story.
New Zealand looks to grow exports to the Philippines
New Zealand trade commissioner Hernando Banal II said yesterday that he wants to double exports to the Philippines by 2025. Food and beverage exports are big business already but information technology, engineering and specialised manufacturing are also growth areas to be explored. The Philippines is currently New Zealand’s 12th largest export market but Mr Banal says it is an important trade partner and one where the economy is growing and business culture is being reformed. Read the full story.