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Business

China

China flags slowest growth in 15 years

PHILIP WEN China has cut its growth target to the lowest level in 15 years, as its leaders seek to curb the side effects of a generation of heady economic development which include official corruption, polluted skies and severe imbalances in the economy.

China lowers growth target to about 7% as headwinds intensify

China's government has vowed to move away from expansion at all costs as it tries to clean up the nation's environment and control a debt surge.

China set the lowest economic growth target in more than 15 years as leaders tackle the side effects of a generation-long expansion that has spurred corruption, fueled debt risks and polluted skies and rivers.

Bad news for James Packer as Macau gaming revenue halves in February

Sobering news for James Packer in Macau: Gaming revenue in Macau has now fallen for nine straight months.

James Thomson James Packer's Crown Resorts has been hit by more bad news of gambling at Mecca of Macau, with figures released late on Tuesday night showing gaming revenue in the city state almost halved in February.

Great pall

Film renews focus on Chinese pollution ahead of annual congress

Residents do morning exercises at a park in the southern city of Shenzhen

A documentary investigating the fallout of China's poor air quality drew millions of viewers last weekend, putting a renewed spotlight on pollution as the nation's lawmakers prepare for their annual gathering in Beijing.

China's HSBC PMI at 7-month high but more rate cuts seen on the cards

Activity in China's factories has jumped to a 7-month high.

Activity in China's factory sector edged up to a seven-month high in February.

Bets mount on second RBA cash rate cut in two months

Economists tip fourth-quarter GDP growth, released on Wednesday, between 0.5 and 0.8 per cent.

MARK MULLIGAN The sluggish pace of Australia's economic rebalancing that has been confirmed in recent data could bring on a second cut in the cash rate in as many months on Tuesday.

China's real property problem

With vast ghost cities emerging, new construction is evaporating no matter what sales and prices do - and the traditional correlation between housing and steel demand is breaking down.

William Pesek With vast ghost cities emerging, new construction is evaporating no matter what sales and prices do - and the traditional correlation between housing and steel demand is breaking down, limiting the effects of stimulus measures.

China headed for soft landing, export-dependent Australia says

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Michael Heath and Enda Curran China's economy looks headed for a soft landing. At least that's what BHP Billiton and Australia's central bank chief Glenn Stevens are signaling 5,600 kilometres away. While China's growth has slowed, the best estimate of Aussie exporters and policy makers is that housing demand from the migration of rural Chinese to cities will help avert an abrupt further slump in expansion.

Macau casinos plunge on weak gambling over Chinese New Year

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Daryl Loo Shares of Macau casino operators including James Packer's Melco Crown have plunged in Hong Kong trading on weak gambling over the Lunar New Year holiday period and expectations revenue from Chinese high-rollers will continue to slump.

PMI: China's factories show signs of fightback

China's factories showed marginal growth in the lead up to the country's new-year holiday.

A Chinese manufacturing gauge rebounded in February, suggesting stimulus efforts and the US recovery are supporting factories in the world's second-largest economy.

Prices for racing pigeons soar high on demand from China

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Jeremy Kahn To most city dwellers, pigeons are vermin to be shooed from park benches and warned off window ledges with spikes. Gourmands might contend that spatchcocked squabs can make a nice Sunday lunch. But pay more than $140,000 for a pigeon?

Forget the property downturn, Chinese New Year holidays deflate Chinese GDP

China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that its population will make 2.8 billion trips during this holiday season.

Su-Lin Tan The significance of taking holidays for Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is so strong in China that its production, as measured by the GDP, falls an average of 53 per cent in the first quarter of each year compared to Australia’s drop of 14 per cent.

Chinese share rally to steady in the Year of the Goat

The Chinese Lunar New Year will welcome the Year of the Goat.

Vanessa Desloires The Year of the Goat is said to be a year of calm. Will this spell an end to the Chinese sharemarket's bull run?

China

China's Alibaba to invest $US590m in smartphone maker Meizu

Alibaba

China's Alibaba Group said on Monday it will buy a minority stake in little-known domestic smartphone maker Meizu Technology Co for $US590 million.

Currencies

China poised to widen currency band, says Nomura

Currently, the yuan is allowed to depreciate or appreciate by 2 per cent around a daily fixed spot price against the greenback before the People's Bank of China intervenes directly.

MARK MULLIGAN China is unlikely to engage directly in the so-called currency wars, but may relax its controls on the yuan’s movements against the US dollar to adjust for imported disinflation, says Nomura.

China easing does not point to currency devaluation, say economists

VESNA POLJAK The People's Bank of China has signalled it won't be left behind in the growing push to lower interest rates globally, helping hold back its currency with looser monetary policy in defiance of concerns around leverage.

Iron ore

Iron ore prices threatened by China's underperforming steel industry: Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is expecting iron ore prices to average $US79 a tonne this year but said its

Tess Ingram China's steel industry is experiencing a "crisis of confidence" that will affect iron ore prices unless activity picks up after Chinese New Year.

Eco

China joins wave of global easing with cut to bank reserve ratio

Analysts say the step signals policy makers are concerned the slowdown has yet to reach bottom.

China cut the amount of cash banks must set aside as reserves in a bid to boost the supply of loans, as capital outflows and weakness at the nation's factories suggest a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy is deepening.

Retail

'At the end of the day, the new economy will win'

Having upended retail in China, Alibaba - which listed on the New York stock exchange last year - is aiming for 2 billion customers around the world.

In China's once busy malls, retailers sit idle, playing poker to pass the time as shoppers have moved online. While the rise of e-commerce is a global phenomenon, the speed and scale of its effects in China is unparalleled, threatening more than 30 million traditional jobs.

China's corruption crackdown still weighs on James Packer's casino joint venture

Australian gambling tycoon James Packer is frustrated that Crown Sydney has been delayed.

Jessica Gardner, Manila Melco Crown chief executive Lawrence Ho says gambling activity in Macau will rebound from the slump caused by the Chinese government’s corruption crackdown, but the casino operator will nonetheless look for new ventures across Asia that reduce its exposure to China’s volatile politics and economics.

Manufacturing

Rough start for China's factories as HSBC PMI contracts again

Data on Friday showed that credit levels in China appeared to improve in August after an alarming drop in July.

Activity in China's factory sector shrank for the second straight month in January, a private business survey showed on Monday, as the new year got off to a rocky start for the world's second-largest economy.

Six charts that show where China's economy is heading

Shanghai World Financial Center

MAX MASON China plays a pivotal role in the global economy, but with growth slowing there are those who are questioning the stability of the world’s second largest economy.

Eco

China's GDP figures stronger than expected, but annual growth at lowest in 24 years

Despite beating economists' expectations, the economy expanded at its the slowest pace since 1990.

PHILIP WEN China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in almost a quarter of a century last year, as the country’s leaders warned further downward pressure remained on the economy of Australia’s largest trading partner.

Economy

Australia to feel the effects as China's growth slows

Consensus amongst economists is that the Chinese economy will have expanded 7.2 per cent in 2014, down from 7.7 per cent in 2013.

MAX MASON Chinese economic growth numbers loom as potentially the most important international data set for Australia, as the world’s second largest economy aims at sustainable but slower growth.

China

Weaker China PMI triggers call further easing

A Chinese flag is hoisted outside a commercial building in Shenzhen.

BRIAN ROBINS A continued slowing in China's economy has raised the prospects for a further easing of monetary policy to stave off a deeper slowdown.

China

China's powerful economic presence begins to fade for Australian investors

A Chinese flag is hoisted outside a commercial building in Shenzhen.

MAX MASON Shadow banking, ghost cities, ­slumping property prices, a ­manufacturing slowdown and debt defaults are just some of the ­headwinds that threaten the world’s second-largest economy.

Accor to build hotels in China under alliance

Novotel Beijing Sanyuan exterior.

CAROLYN CUMMINS Accor hotel group has expanded its footprint in Asia by signing an alliance to create a company in China with more than 2000 hotels, and the ability for significant expansion.

China

China planner approves $4 billion in new roads, bridges

Chinese flag

China's National Development and Reform Commission has approved 25 billion yuan ($4 billion) new construction projects to lift economic growth.

China flash PMI contracts for first time in 7 months

The latest reading on China's manufacturing sector confirms fears that the country's giant economy may be losing momentum.

Activity in China's factory sector contracted in December for the first time in seven months as new orders declined, a preliminary private survey showed on Tuesday.

Resources

Iron ore won't reach $US100 per tonne again, says BHP Billiton

Iron ore prices have probably peaked, says BHP Billiton.

PHILIP WEN Mining giant BHP Billiton says iron ore prices are unlikely to eclipse $US100 a tonne again, with expectations of steel consumption growth in China slowing further next year.

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