Global markets have begun a gradual recovery following sharp losses due to the nuclear crisis in Japan.
Australia’s ASX edged up 0.65%, taking its lead from a 5.7% surge by Japan’s Nikkei index. US and European stocks were also up.
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The rebound came as Billabong became the first Australian company to admit that the tsunami and earthquake would impact its profits.
Construction sector slumps
Houses and apartment construction fell away badly in the second half of 2010, new figures reveal.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of new homes built in the December quarter dropped by 5.3%. The fall follows a slump of 13% in the September quarter.
iPad scammers hit New York
A group of ‘entrepreneurial’ scammers have taken advantage of the shortage of iPad 2 tablets in the US to rake in significant profits.
The group bought up the entire iPad 2 stock in Apple’s New York store, selling them onto consumers for $1,700, more than double the retail price.
The Dow Jones industrial average slid 280.34 points to 11,575.08. The Australian dollar slipped further from parity, falling to 98.42 US cents.