Commercial lending falls in August: Midday roundup

Commercial finance fell in August, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data shows business finance commitments fell 5.2% to a seasonally adjusted $27.591 billion, compared to the upwardly revised $28 billion in July.

Total personal lending commitments fell 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted $7.22 billion. Housing finance for owner occupations rose 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted $13.64 billion, while lease finance fell by 5.1% to $528 million.

Telstra reconfirms expectations for a modest 2013

Telstra has reconfirmed its modest expectations for 2013, and has said it is still committed to rolling out 4G network expansion and its involvement in the National Broadband Network.

Chairman Catherine Livingstone said at the company’s annual general meeting that the company is well positioned for 2013, with single digit total income growth expected and free cashflow between $4.75 billion and $5.25 billion forecast.

“The NBN is now business-as-usual for Telstra and its impact is included in the guidance we provide to the market.”

Chief executive David Thodey also announced an acceleration of the company’s 4G network expansion.

“4G will open the door to new innovative high-speed services over the next few years – that’s why this part of the business is so exciting.”

Shares rise after positive US lead

The Australian sharemarket has risen higher this morning following a positive lead from the US, where good retail data bolstered investors’ hopes.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 28 points or 0.6% to 4,512.2, while in the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 95 points or 0.7% to 13,424.

RBA minutes reveal

The Reserve Bank’s rate cut was prompted by weaker commodity prices and a reduction in investment by mining companies according to the bank’s minutes released today.

“While prices for steel and iron ore had partially retraced the sharp falls that occurred over July and August, members noted that there had been a noticeable decline in the appetite for spending by Australian companies in some parts of the resources sector,” the minutes said.

The RBA lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 3.25%, effective October 3.


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