Federal finance minister Penny Wong has denied that the Prime Minister is putting pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut rates, insisting that the Government’s focus is returning Australia to surplus.
Yesterday, Julia Gillard said that a budget surplus would give the RBA the opportunity to lower interest rates.
Wong later said that Gillard wasn’t trying to “heavy” the central bank into cutting rates.
Microsoft still in favour with businesses
Sales of Microsoft’s Windows have defied expectations with a 4% rise in the latest quarter, helping the company to a $5.11 billion net profit.
Entrepreneurs appear to still favour Microsoft products, with the company’s business division recording a 9% jump in revenue.
Murdochs to front inquiry
Rupert and James Murdoch are to front the Leveson inquiry in the UK, which is looking into the state of the media in the wake of phone hacking claims made against News International.
Three days have been set aside next week for the two media moguls to give evidence to the inquiry.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 68.65 points, or 0.5%, to 12,964.10. The Australian dollar dropped to 103.29 US cents.