RBA says further cuts possible; Qantas axes 300 jobs: Midday Roundup

The Reserve Bank of Australia has signalled the possibility of further rate cuts in its November monetary statement, saying economic growth prospects for 2013 remain below trend. 

On Tuesday, the cash rate was left unchanged at 2.5%.

“Overall, the outlook for the global economy is much as it was a few months ago… The prospect of a pick-up in conditions in many advanced economies is likely to see growth for the world as a whole improve from a below-average pace in 2013 to around average in 2014,” the RBA says.

“It was appropriate to hold the cash rate steady, but not to close off the possibility of reducing it further, should that be needed to support economic activity consistent with the inflation target.”

Qantas axes 300 jobs

Qantas is tipped to send hundreds of maintenance jobs overseas, after announcing it will shutter engineering on 747 aeroplanes at Victoria’s Avalon Airport.

The airline is expected to conclude maintenance on the planes at Avalon by March 2014, leading to the sacking of nearly 300 engineers.

The cost of closing Avalon was revealed to be $28 million. Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyall Strambi said the company still has about 4500 engineers on the books.

“Over the next four years there would have been up to 22 months with no scheduled maintenance at Avalon. No business could afford to continue operating a facility under those circumstances,” Strambi said in a statement.

Shares fall on open

The Australian share market has dropped on open following losses on Wall St overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark had fallen 22.3 points to 5399.7 at 12:07pm AEDT. The Dow Jones last night closed down 152,90, losing 0.97% to 15,593.98.

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