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Dollar now at lowest point since January: Midday roundup

The Australian dollar has now reached its lowest point since January, now trading at just $US1.02c.

The low point comes after the Spanish Government only achieved the bottom end of its financial targets with the sale of $3.35 billion worth of bonds in an auction.

Most offshore markets have lost ground overnight, with US equities down 1% and commodities also falling as well.

Shares slip after fears grow over Eurozone

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning after fears continued to grow over the financial security of the eurozone following a Spanish bond auction.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 31.9 points or 0.7% to 4,302 at 11.40 AEST.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 124 points to 13,074.75.

Amcor buys tobacco packaging company

Paper and packaging group Amcor has purchased a tobacco packaging plant in Mexico for $US40 million.

The acquisition of the Aluprint plant gives the company a significant presence in the country, it said, after purchasing a packaging operation in Argentina as well.

The plant was built in 2009 at a cost of $US40 million with sales of more than $US30 million.

Australia records second monthly trade deficit in a row

Australia’s trade deficit came in at $480 million in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Exports of goods and services were down by 2.1% while imports were down by 3.9%, narrowing the trade deficit but not making it go away.

It was the second month in a row that the trade balance was in deficit, after a deficit of $971 million in January.

The trade balance had been in the black for 20 of the previous 21 months, from April 2010 to December 2011 - the exception being flood-affected February 2011.

Centro appoints new CFO

Former Westfield group chief financial officer Marlon Teperson has jointed Centro Retail as the company’s chief financial officer, replacing interim CFO Chris Nunn.

Teperson has worked as a consultant in the industry for several years.

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Andrew Sadauskas

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