Annual inflation falls to 1.2%: Midday roundup

Consumer prices rose in the second quarter, slightly less than expectations, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS consumer price index showed a rise of 0.5% in the headline rate in the three months to June.

The result compares to a lift of 0.1% rise in the March quarter.

The result takes the annual rate to 1.2%, down from 1.6% in March.

In its morning note, the ANZ said the RBA appeared to be in ‘wait and see’ mode at the moment and seemed unlikely to ease monetary policy in August even with a relatively low underlying inflation print.

“Consistent with this, the tone of Governor Stevens’ speech yesterday suggested that the hurdle for significant rate cuts is much higher than markets are currently pricing.”

Australian sharemarket falls

The Australian stock market opened lower following falls on Wall Street overnight.

The falls reflect growing concerns about Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and poor corporate earnings in the US.

At the official market opening, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.06% to 4,089.5 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 1.01% to 4,119.2 points.

Stockland managing director announces resignation

Stockland managing director Matthew Quinn has stepped down from his position after 11 years.

Quinn confirmed the move in a statement. “After much consideration I have decided that now is the right time to step down,” he said. “It has been a privilege to lead Stockland.”

However, according to Business Spectator, Quinn will leave in February 2013 and has no immediate plans.

Meanwhile, the company has recorded earnings per share of 29.3 cents, below the company’s previous guidance.

European Union welcomes Google antitrust proposals

The European Union has welcomed a proposal Google has made after regulators started an antitrust investigation into the search engine giant.

“The (executive European) Commission considers Google’s proposals as a good basis for further talks and has now reached a good level of understanding with Google,” a spokesman for Joaquin Almunia, the competition commissioner, told the AAP.

“There will soon be discussions at technical level,” the spokesman said. “We hope this process will lead to remedies addressing our concerns.”

A Google spokesperson also told the publication the company will “continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission”.

Regulators were concerned the company has been abusing its market power.




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