Moody's downgrades Queensland outlook: Midday roundup
Ratings agency Moody's has downgraded its outlook for Queensland's AA1 credit rating from stable to negative.
''The change in the outlook reflects the deterioration in the state's financial performance which has persisted since fiscal 2007-08 and the resultant high levels of indebtedness,'' the agency said.
''Scheduled improvements will only take hold in a few years, and progress could be slowed by the potential emergence of less supportive conditions.''
Mortgage market set to grow in 2013, says Deloitte
The $1.3 trillion mortgage market could grow as much as 5% in 2013, according to a new report from Deloitte.
The company's Australian Mortgage Report 2013 predicts that competition will be fierce as buyers look for the cheapest price.
"To this end we consider that lenders in 2013 will focus on leveraging the opportunities in existing portfolios or back books," Deloitte Financial Services Partner James Hickey said.
"This involves retaining valuable customers by ensuring a better customer experience at the front end. It also means using data better to identify and leverage customer cross sell and upgrade opportunities, as well as protecting interest margins on existing portfolios."
Abbott ready for election "whenever"
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said he's ready to fight an election "whenever" regarding speculation the Government may call for an election in March.
"This is a matter for the Prime Minister," Abbott said. "But we are ready to fight an election whenever it's called."
"The conclusion they've come to, quite a long time ago, is that minority government is an experiment that failed," he said, regarding the Australian consensus on the Federal Government.
Shares up after positive Wall Street lead
The Australian sharemarket has opened slightly higher this morning following a positive lead from the United States.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up five points or 0.1% to 4418.8 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 172 points or 1.4% to 13,009.7.