If Barry O'Farrell's lost bottle of Grange turns up, it could be worth a lot more than $3000.
Today's News & Views
7:27am Europe's main stock markets have closed higher ahead of the Easter weekend, shaking off early losses as investors kept a wary eye on diplomatic talks over the Ukraine crisis.
7:25am US stocks finished a holiday-shortened week mostly higher following a plethora of earnings reports that generally met or exceeded expectations.
Nelson Schwartz Despite steady improvement in the US economy, lingering signs of slack in the job market suggest the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero and maintain an accommodative monetary policy, the US Fed's chairwoman Janet Yellen says.
Sally Rose The market pushed ahead despite softer iron ore, oil and gold prices and a stronger dollar as a slew of quarterly reports showed Australian resource producers are continuing to increase supply.
Georgia Wilkins Qantas and four other airlines, including Singapore Airlines, are preparing to settle a seven-year, $38 million class action relating to claims of rigging the cost of air-freight services.
BEN BUTLER Russell Johnson, the director of failed broker Sonray, has been sentenced to 6 and a half years' jail for defrauding clients of millions of dollars and stealing money from the company before its collapse in June 2010.
MALCOLM MAIDEN Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour is on tenterhooks as the May 13 budget looms and the Abbott government prepares to release the Commission of Audit's report on how to make the government leaner and more efficient.
David Streitfeld Alexander the Great is said to have wept because he ran out of kingdoms to conquer. Google is eager to avoid such a miserable fate.
Anthony Macdonald, Sarah Thompson The government has appointed Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital as it pushes ahead with the $4 billion sharemarket listing of private health insurer Medibank Private next financial year.
Glenda Kwek The company behind the Priceline and Soul Pattinson brands has issued a savage write-down - equivalent to half the size of its market capitalisation - after its struggling pharmacy customers failed to pay back loans.
Anthony Macdonald and Sarah Thompson The government has appointed Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Macquarie Capital as it pushes ahead with the $4 billion sharemarket listing of private health insurer Medibank Private next financial year.
David Streitfeld A
COLIN KRUGER ANZ's new journalism venture, Blue Notes, is only a couple of days old, but the bank's chief executive, Mike Smith, has already gone rogue.
Madeleine Heffernan The final chapter of long-running legal action over failed telco company One.Tel has come to an end, with billionaires and one-time One.Tel directors James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch agreeing to a $40 million settlement with liquidators.
Amanda Saunders, Peter Ker and Ben Butler Former hair regrowth king Roland Bleyer (aka Husner) is emerging as a key player in the mysterious $6.4 billion funding deal for iron ore tiddler Padbury Mining.
5:37pm Billionaire James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch will pay $40 million to settle a long running dispute with One.Tel creditors Telstra and Optus.
MAX MASON 5:31pm The competition watchdog says it is planning to clamp down on wholesale copper phone services in CBD precincts, quoting evidence that Telstra was charging wholesale customers close to 40 per cent more in unregulated areas.
BEN BUTLER 3:38pm Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer have agreed to pay $40 million to settle a long-running stoush over the failure of dot.com era telco One.Tel in 2001.
Jason Cadden 2:25pm Annual inflation is expected to have risen by 3.2 per cent, above the RBA's two to three per cent target range, an AAP survey shows.
Suze Metherell 1:56pm Genesis Energy's shares have spiked in the immediate aftermath of its listing on the NZX, rising by 18 per cent.
Angela Macdonald-Smith 1:12pm New Zealand electricity retailer Genesis Energy has enjoyed a buoyant start to life as a publicly listed company, with its shares surging as much as 17.7 per cent when they started trading on Thursday.
MAX MASON 1:08pm Tony Abbott's step backwards in history to the time of knights and dames could take shareholder returns with it.
1:11pm Airlines at the centre of a class action over alleged price fixing on freight services have agreed to a $38 million settlement.
Sally Rose 5:22pm Shares pushed ahead despite the challenges of softer iron ore, oil and gold prices and a stronger dollar as a slew of quarterly production reports showed Australian resource producers are continuing to increase supply.
SALLY ROSE 5:41pm Strong investor appetite for opportunities to profit directly from Australia’s ageing population has delivered a stellar debut from the first ASX-listed aged care company.
COLIN KRUGER 12:16pm ANZ's new journalism venture Blue Notes is only a couple of days old, but the banks chief executive Mike Smith has already gone rogue. He posted an article on Linkedin titled 'How I became a social media believer and why banking's future is digital'.
11:46am The National Australia Bank business survey showed a small fall in confidence in the March quarter, but it remains in positive territory.
11:56am Australian Pharmaceutical Industries will include a $131 million writedown on the value of its assets in its upcoming half year results.
BEN BUTLER 11:53am Sonray director Russell Johnson has been sentenced to six and a half years for fraud and theft offences over the broker's collapse in June 2010 that left 3500 clients $46.7 million out of pocket.
11:07am Unlisted Australian firm Nexvet has raised $US31.5 million to advance its drug development program for the treatment of sick pets.
Tim Binsted 10:47am ASX-listed almond group Select Harvests is facing a court battle after Almas Almonds lodged a $9 million claim against the company for alleged mismanagement of two almond orchards.
Greg Roberts 5:15pm A flat quarterly production report from Santos has been overshadowed by news its massive LNG projects are nearly completed.
Kim Christian 2:28pm Woodside Petroleum could be forced to move quickly on a growth project on the west coast of Canada after signing a three-year land use agreement.
Karen Maley 10:10am Hedge funds, which are only beginning to recover from their bruising first quarter, now face the prospect that the US central bank could be about to make it more difficult for them to borrow heavily in short-term credit in order to fund their risky trades.
10:16am The new chief executive of the Bank of New Zealand will be its current head of its business bank, Anthony Healy.
Anne D'innocenzio 10:16am Clothing retailer Gap says it plans within three years to triple its sales in China, where it generated $US300 million in sales in its past fiscal year.
4:53pm Australian bond futures prices bounced ahead of the Easter long weekend.
Evan Schwarten 3:00pm Electronics retailer Dick Smith has lifted its third quarter sales and its CEO says further growth is on the horizon.
Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at the close on Thursday
With sneakers slung around their shoulders and pockets full of cash, young boys huddle in hotel ballrooms and high school gyms, shouting and bartering as though they belong on a trading room floor.
Commodities news from around the world
Computer company IBM says it's achieved first-quarter earnings of $US2.38 billion, down 21 per cent on the previous year due to reorganisation costs.
News from the world’s major stock markets
Google says its first quarter profit rose 32 per cent from a year ago to $US3.45 billion ($A3.70 billion), in results below most Wall Street expectations.
The Australian share market closed higher on Thursday, continuing its recent strong run.
Belinda Merhab The Australian dollar has drifted lower ahead of the Easter holiday.
Local stocks are poised to open higher on the promise of lower for longer US interest rates.
Failed Bitcoin exchange MtGox has been placed in administration by a Japanese court, with an order for bankruptcy expected to be issued soon, its administrator and chief executive says.
US stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index capping its best three-day rally in two months, as Yahoo! earnings topped estimates and industrial production gained more than forecast.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday the US economy appeared to be slowly moving toward full employment, but that it would need help from the central bank for some time to come.
European stock markets have rallied despite high tension over the Ukraine crisis, heartened by strong company earnings, Chinese growth data and a positive start on Wall Street.
Paul Wiseman Ten of the Fed's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity, according to the Beige Book survey in the US.
Martin Crutsinger In her first major speech on Fed policy, Janet Yellen sought to explain the Fed's shifting guidance on its interest-rate policy.
MALCOLM MAIDEN Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has to be wishing Bill Morrow good speed as NBN Co's new chief executive asks the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to block junior telco TPG from competing head-on with the National Broadband Network.
Sally Rose The market moved higher as Australia's biggest trading partner, China, narrowly beat expectations to avoid posting its slowest rate of economic growth in five years, and BHP Billiton told shareholders it planned to boost its iron-ore production.
David Ramli NBN Co's new chief executive, Bill Morrow, will push the government to charge a levy against its rivals in densely populated urban areas, to pay for building broadband in the bush.
Stewart Oldfield One of Australia's biggest industry funds used to encourage input from its members about how to invest their savings until it realised just how lousy the majority of its members were at picking markets.
ELIZABETH KNIGHT Recent history shows the iron ore price is susceptible to bouts of volatility.
Philip Wen China has narrowly avoided posting its slowest rate of economic growth in five years, but lacklustre industrial output has underlined how the world's second-largest economy may be struggling to respond to government stimulus.
PETER KER Iron ore looks set to be BHP Billiton's biggest money-spinner for a while yet, after the miner revealed full-year production of the steel ingredient would be more than 2 per cent higher than previously advised.