THE NEWS WRAP: Australian manufacturing industry must embrace Asia, Federal Government taskforce says

Australia can maintain a sustainable manufacturing industry into the future, but only if it embraces the opportunities provided by Asia, according to a Federal Government taskforce.

 

The taskforce, which includes business and trade union representatives, said in a report that manufacturers are facing challenges such as the strong dollar and high input costs.

 

However, the report states that Australian firms can exploit upstream processing, the mining boom and defence contracts.

 

Wesfarmers flags expansion plans

 

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder has signalled that the group is looking to expand to new areas, after unveiling a record net profit.

 

The owner of Coles and Kmart revealed that its profit has topped $2 billion for the first time, with Goyder saying that the group was “not averse to moving into new areas” in order to further boost returns for shareholders.

 

Facebook shares dip as investors bail

 

Facebook shares have fallen 7.1% to a record low after investors were given the green light to dump its shares.

 

More than 270 million shares became available for trade for the first time yesterday, prompting many traders to get the stock off their books. Facebook’s market value has fallen by 50% since its IPO in May.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 83.13 points, or 0.63%, at 13,247.91. The Australian dollar was up to US105.15 cents.

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