Car sales rise 3.6% in August

Sales of new cars in Australia rose in the month of August, beating analyst expectations, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS recorded 93,379 new cars sold in Australia in August, a seasonally adjusted incline of 3.6% which compares to 90,133 in July.

In the year to August, new car sales rose a seasonally adjusted 6.4% while sales of passenger and sports utility vehicles rose a seasonally adjusted 4.7 % and 4.3% respectively for the month.

Macmahon shares placed in trading halt

Shares in engineering group Macmahon Holdings have been placed in a trading halt ahead of announcement from the company.

In a statement, the company said it would update its guidance soon.

“The trading halt is requested pending an update on the company’s earnings guidance as a result of deteriorating financial performance in the construction business, and increased uncertainty about the outlook for new construction work given recent market volatility,” the group said.

The company recently said it expects to increase profit by 20% in the next year.

Shares rise on gains in miners, banks

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning with a solid rise among banks and miners.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 9.1 points or 0.2% to 4399.1 at 12.10 AEST, while the Australian dollar remained steady at $US1.05.

In the United States late last week, the Dow Jones industrial Average finished up 53 points or 0.4% to 13,593.4.

Swan warns on disaster reconstruction authority

Treasurer Wayne Swan has said recovery projects worth billions could be at risk of Queensland winds up the reconstruction authority early.

“Without the QRA, the Commonwealth will have a far less assurance that the billions of dollars being spent in Queensland are being administrated properly,” Swan told ABC Radio this morning.

“This would also impact our assurance of value for taxpayers’ money in spending these record sums of cash.”



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