Three of Australia’s largest retailers have attacked the federal government workplace regulations, claiming that they are hampering businesses.
Woolworths said that constraints on labour flexibility will further damage the retail industry, while Bernie Brookes, CEO of Myer, said that the restrictions are becoming “more significant” for businesses.
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Meanwhile, Westfield said that high labour costs are driving up the prices for consumer goods and impacting retailers, especially those that employ staff after 6pm. However, unions say there is no evidence of increased costs due to changes to the awards system.
Russians back Aussie dollar
The Australian dollar has received a further boost, with the Russian central bank buying $US5 billion of the currency.
The central bank said that from September, Russia will use Australian dollars for as much as 1% of its $US528 billion federal reserves.
The move, intended to move exposure away from the US dollar, follows a prolonged period of strong trading by the Australian dollar on the currency markets, a situation that has affected many small businesses.
Sega admits customer data hack
The personal data of 1.29 million Sega users has been compromised following an attack on its systems, the video gaming giant has admitted.
Sega said that the hack had exposed personal details and email addresses, but had not compromised credit card information. The company is the latest to be hit by hackers, following recent attacks on Nintendo and Sony.
US markets advanced on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 42.92 points to 12,004.44. The Australian dollar started trading at above 106 US cents this morning.