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- Key says Greens smoking pot on Budget 83
- Key and National down in DigiPoll 55
- A New York Yankee in the Wairarapa 54
- Annual net migration headed for 50,000 39
- Climate change issues for the election 20
- 'Get in now and fix your borrowings' 13
- Friday's guest Top 10 13
- Bernard's Top 10 at 10 13
- CEO pay packets: Regulate to stop inequality? 8
- 'Fonterra of forestry' initiative unveiled 7
90 seconds at 9 am: Aussies cut rates 0.5%, bigger than expected; Dow surges to highest since 2007, Fonterra auction weak again
David Chaston details key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am including news that Australia's central bank cut interest rates by a hefty half-percentage point late yesterday, signaling a shift in its focus away from fighting inflation and toward safeguarding growth. Disappointing housing trends probably tipped the decision to go for a big cut.
The Australian Treasury department remains bullish on the future of Chinese demand for Australian resources and agricultural products, saying China's appetite for commodities will keep rising until the early 2020s. Some have worried about the China boom running out of steam, but that is not the way the Australian government sees it.
Oil prices jumped more than $2 per barrel. Gold was unchanged.
An official gauge of manufacturing activity in China showed improvement in April, but economists cautioned the overall economic outlook remains unclear.
Closer to home, today's Fonterra auction saw prices fall another 2.4% and dairy prices are now at their lowest level since August 2009. They have fallen one third since the last peak in 2011.