Sharemarket and Market Trading News

Read the latest Australian sharemarket trading and Australian Business news.

More than two centuries ago, 24 brokers signed an agreement laying the groundwork for the New York Stock Exchange. Yesterday the exchange's 1366 members rebuilt that foundation.

They voted in favour of the NYSE's proposed purchase of Archipelago Holdings Inc, an electronic market based in Chicago, transforming the world's largest stockmarket into NYSE Group Inc, a publicly traded company.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, who is also director of the United Nations Millennium Project, says in a talk he gave in Beijing that there are four stages of economic development: pre-commercial, commercial, industrial and knowledge. Thus a country has to make three transformations to get to the wealthiest stage and can get trapped at any of them.

Most African countries are pre-commercial because the rural economy is so isolated from the urban economy that there's little exchange between the two and so little scope for exploiting economies of scale.

Japanese broker is in hot water after a typo mistake - instead of ¥610,000 for ONE share, they sold 610,000 shares for ¥1: The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) on Friday suspended trading in J-Com Co., a day after its stock was sold in a mistake that could cost Mizuho Securities Co. 30 billion yen in damages.

The TSE said it wants to prevent a repeat of the market turmoil Thursday caused when a Mizuho Securities trader placed an erroneous sell order of J-Com shares.

Sydney real estate property prices have fallen 10 per cent since the boom ended in late 2003 - and by 2.3 per cent in the last quarter - a Bureau of Statistics survey has revealed, suggesting the market slump is deeper, more protracted and from a lower peak than previously thought.

The downturn is creating opportunities for potential first-home buyers and bargain hunters, but a seller who bought a property in the past three years is likely to lose money if forced to sell, after stamp duty and real estate costs.

Today is OzJet's first day of commercial flights and as of 24 hours ago the fledging carrier had sold some seats for its peak morning and evening flights.

But next week it doesn't have a single booking for flights in the middle of the day.

There are more cabin staff than customers, in fact.

"I'm not stupid - if it's not being supported we'd take a view after six months," is all Mr Stoddart would say on how long he would cover the airline if bookings did not pick up.

The Australian dollar opened nearly one US cent higher on Tuesday as weaker-than-expected US economic figures underpinned the gains.

However, the local unit's moves are expected to be capped by a slew of data releases this week.

At 7am (AEDT), the local unit was trading at US74.30¢, compared with Monday's close of US73.40¢.

Overnight, it reached a low of US73.23¢ and a high of US74.53¢.

Westpac Bank senior currency strategist Richard Franulovich said the weaker-than-expected US home sales figures boosted the Australian dollar.

Australia's wealthiest people are paying only 25 per cent of their income in tax and are easily avoiding the top personal rate of 47c in the dollar.

The very rich pay less than a third of the tax paid by the nation's highest-paid workers - $28,000 versus $92,000 a year - because they use their investments to minimise income and claim tax breaks not available to regular workers.

The Coalition Government says that only 3 per cent of taxpayers, with taxable incomes above $125,000, will face the top marginal rate of 47c when the thresholds are lifted again on July 1 next year.

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