Housing finance rises in September: Midday roundup

Housing finance increased in February, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show the number of home loans approved in February rose by a seasonally adjusted 2% to 45,423. This comes after an upwardly revised figure of 44,457 in January.

Total housing finance rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.4% in February to $21,826.

Kim Ellery versus Myer, the battle begins

The three-day trial between department store Myer and young designer Kimberly Ellery kicks off today in the Victorian Supreme Court.

Myer is seeking damages from Ellery after she signed a deal with David Jones earlier this year and failed to deliver an order for Myer’s 2013 autumn-winter collection, in turn breaching exclusivity contract with Myer.

Myer is also seeking an injunction to stop the designer from supplying David Jones with any more clothing from her Ellery Land and L’America brands.

Shares fall on open

Australian shares have dropped on open, with shares in the mining companies posting losses.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark had fallen 52.7 points to 4960.8 just after midday.

Shares in Rio Tinto had fallen $1.38 to $55.52 and shares in BHP Billiton had declined $0.83 to $32.52. In total, the materials sector had declined 454.5 points.

ACCC cracks down on unfair contract terms

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is starting to enforce its national unfair contract terms regime, as it transitions from the compliance to the enforcement phase of the crackdown.

The ACCC reviewed a selection of standard form consumer contracts used in the airline, solar energy, telecommunications, fitness, online, stock trading and vehicle rental industries.

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