THE NEWS WRAP: Apple faces its first earnings drop in a decade

Apple’s fiscal first-quarter income might have slipped to $US12.8 billion, down 2% from $US13.1 billion for the same quarter last year, according to analysts’ estimates.

 

The estimates, compiled by Bloomberg, cite tough competition from Samsung, growing production costs and slowing growth in the smartphone market as key reasons for the decline.

 

If accurate, the fall represents the first decline in Apple’s quarterly earnings in a decade, coming 18 months after current chief executive Tim Cook took control from co-founder Steve Jobs.

 

Bank of Japan adopts a 2% inflation target

 

The bank of Japan has announced a new target of 2% inflation, along with an ambitious growth forecast target of 2.3% for the fiscal year ending March 2014 and an open-ended easing policy in a bid to end the country’s long-running deflation problem.

 

Recently elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has described the Bank of Japan’s new policy as an ”epoch-making” shift.

 

However, markets remain doubtful about whether the Bank of Japan can overcome the deeply entrenched deflation that has plagued the Japanese economy over the past two decades.

 

Super fund infrastructure warning

 

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority deputy chairman Ross Jones has warned the superannuation industry about over-investing in infrastructure projects, citing concerns a lack of liquidity could hamper their ability to pay out funds to members.

 

“At first sight, infrastructure looks to be an ideal investment for superannuation funds. Super funds invest for the long term and infrastructure is an essential, long-term investment and they should be a good match. But it doesn’t always work out,” Jones said in an interview with The Australian.

 

“But as their members age, funds need to be more aware of liquidity. We will be looking at the age profile of the members of the funds and saying this is what you need to be aware of.”

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.28% to 13687.73. The Aussie dollar was up to US105.65 cents

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