THE NEWS WRAP: Bernanke announces slowdown in quantitative easing, US stimulus to end next year

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has announced a slowdown in its bond buying program in the latter part of this year, saying the stimulus could end in the middle of next year.

 

However, any changes would be subject to moderate economic growth and a steadily improving jobs market.

 

“The committee currently anticipates that it will be appropriate to moderate the monthly pace of purchases later this year, and if the subsequent data remain broadly aligned with our current expectations for the economy, we will continue to reduce the pace of purchases in measured steps through the first half of next year, ending purchases around mid-year,” Bernanke said.

 

News Corp begins trading as two separate companies

 

Rupert Murdoch-controlled media conglomerate News Corp has traded for the first time as two separate entities as part of the company’s separation.

 

The entertainment and television assets of the group, now known as 20th Century Fox, traded at around $30.53, giving it a market capitalisation of $70.3 billion.

 

Meanwhile, New News Corp, which primarily comprises of its publishing interests, along with the company’s 50% stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, saw its non-voting shares trading at around $14.30 for a market capitalisation of $8.1 billion.

 

IBM could cut 1500 local jobs

 

IBM is looking to shift some of its Australian operations offshore to Asia and New Zealand, in a move that could see the loss of between 1200 and 1500 jobs.

 

Sources within the IT giant claim senior management were told about the cuts via a teleconference in March, though there has been no official confirmation of the job losses.

 

The company is estimated to employ between 12,000 and 14,000 staff in Australia.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1.4% to 15112.2. The Aussie dollar is down to US92.85 cents.

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