Electronic equipment supplier Hills Ltd says trading in the first four months of the financial year has been soft.
The RBA is keeping the cash rate unchanged as it waits to see if the housing market will cool and if economic growth picks up.
The head of nickel producer Western Areas believes the price of the commodity will remain firm amid conerns about higher cost producers entering the market

Echo has mystery "plan B"

Echo Entertainment says it has a back-up plan if its bid for a casino at Brisbane's Queen's Wharf fails, but is giving away no details.

EU, Russia, Ukraine sign gas deal

Russia and Ukraine have signed an EU-brokered deal ensuring gas supplies to Europe after marathon talks.
Demand for fixed-income annuities and a weaker Australian dollar helped Macquarie Group post a 35 per cent profit rise, with its CEO upbeat.

Newcrest considers pay shake-up

Gold miner Newcrest is considering restructuring its executive pay following criticisms.
Any recommendation from the federal government's financial system inquiry that big banks hold more capital will hit all loan holders, ANZ warns.
Barclays has set aside $A912.66 million "relating to ongoing investigations" into foreign exchange trading.

NAB plays down lending risk

NAB's boss says it has not lowered its lending standards amid booming house prices.
Echo Entertainment has forecast growth in its annual earnings of up to 31 per cent after a strong start to the year in all of its businesses.

Wesfarmers tight lipped about AMP

Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder is tight lipped about speculation the conglomerate is eyeing off wealth management giant AMP.
Ardent Leisure says Australia has more mortgage stress than the US, which may explain why its American operations are doing better.

Home sales flat in Sept

New home sales were flat in September, but sales of multi-unit dwellings were up 11 per cent, the Housing Industry Association said.
Travel group Flight Centre says achieving its profit growth targets will not be a "formality" amid volatility in Australia and strength overseas

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