Lowe’s out $15 million on Masters hardware: Midday roundup

American hardware group Lowe’s has recorded a $15 million loss on its stake in the Masters hardware joint venture.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Lowe’s has taken a $US15 million loss on the deal, while paint group Dulux also announced it would stop supplying Masters stores.

Ford to assist manufacturing workers

Ford Australia will examine a type of transition package which will assist any manufacturing workers who lose their jobs as part of the company’s decision to stop making cars locally.

Ford Australia president and chief executive Bob Graziano told the Nine Network such a plan would be examined but could not confirm a number.

“I want to get with the governments to understand what they are proposing and then we will come back and work with them on it,” he told Nine.

“I want to understand what they’re doing so that we can understand what we can then do to contribute to that as well.”

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine also told Nine Ford should be willing to help misplaced workers.

“The most important thing we now want to pursue with Ford is whether Ford will provide financial assistance with the federal and state governments for the transition to create new jobs in Geelong and in Broadmeadows.”

Australian dollar rallies on market open

The Australian dollar rallied on the market open this morning, jumping more than one and a half cents from Thursday’s closing rate.

At 0700 AEST, the Australian dollar was trading at 97.52 US cents, up from 96.23 recorded on Thursday.

The rally comes after the fall on Thursday, following comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke that the American economy was starting to see signs of recovery.

Shares fall off weak offshore lead

The Australian share market has taken a hit this morning, following minor losses from the Dow Jones overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 49.3 points at 11:40am to 5013.1. In the United States yesterday, the Dow Jones closed 12.67 points down falling to 15294.5.

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