Trade surplus below expectations, Cochlear full-year profit rises, Abbott calls rate cut a vote of no confidence: Midday roundup

Australia’s trade surplus increased during June, but at a slower rate than predicted, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show the surplus expanded 19% to a seasonally adjusted $602 million, but analysts had expected that figure to be as much as $800 million.

The result comes after a downwardly-revised figure of $507 million during May.

Exports fell 1% during June, while imports fell by 2%, the figures showed.

Cochlear full-year profit rises

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has reported a massive 133% increase in net profit to $132 million.

The company flagged the profit guidance during June, although this was lower than an expected $155 million.

In a statement, the company says it remains confident of being able to deliver its Nucleus 6 project, which remains a critical part of the company’s strategy.

“Nucleus 6 is currently being rolled out in Europe and regulatory approvals in other jurisdictions are anticipated during the year,” the company says.

“Timing of regulatory approvals and effectiveness of the Nucleus 6 launch execution will be important for the 2014 result.”

Abbott says rate cut vote of no confidence

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said the expected rate cut this afternoon will be a vote of no-confidence in the government’s economic management.

The Reserve Bank is largely expected to cut rates to boost the economy.

“This is happening because the Reserve Bank has concerns about the state of our economy,” Abbott told ABC Radio this morning.

“At the moment interest rates are going down because our economy is badly managed, not because our economy is well managed.”

Shares drop on open

Australian shares have opened lower this morning, ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rates decision this afternoon.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was 18.9 points lower to 5092.4.

Overnight the Dow Jones lost 46.23 points, down 0.30% to 15,612.13.


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