Shares flat despite strong offshore lead: Midday roundup

The Australian sharemarket opened flat today despite a solid lead from Wall Street, where investors are becoming more confident of the domestic economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 9.3 points or 0.2% to 5,137.6 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50.2 points or 0.4% to 14,447.3.

Eurozone returning to growth

Europe is slowly recovery, with OECD indicators showing eurozone growth is beginning to emerge.

Germany was leading the recovery in Europe, but France and Italy still have a long road ahead of them toward economic growth.

In France, indicators pointed toward a “stabilisation” of business activity. Italy was also considered to be in this phase, an improvement on recent periods of negative economic growth.

Finance sector harmed by visa restrictions: Steve Harker

Morgan Stanley chief executive Steve Harker has told The Australian Financial Review Australia’s current visa rules are preventing executives from coming to Australia.

“If we are going to be managing non-Australian money in this country, we have a very deep and skilled funds management market here but it’s very domestically focused,” he told the publication.

“That’s where the interaction with the visa issue and getting new skills in is important because we don’t have the workforce to manage an international funds management capability. Developing critical mass in those skill sets will make a difference to where we position ourselves in the next 20 years.”

The comments come as the federal government is considering changes to the skilled migrant system.



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