Tuesday 11th November 2008
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National Australia Bank's sentiment index fell 21 points to minus 29, the lowest in the survey's 19-year history. A measure of forward orders fell to 17-year low of minus 20, according to a report from the bank.
Australia's central bank yesterday cut its forecast for economic growth this year to 1.5% from 2 percent, having slashed its benchmark interest rate to 5.25%, the lowest in more than three years. Rio Tinto, the world's second largest exporter of iron ore, yesterday said it will cut output in Australia by 10% on waning demand from Chinese steelmakers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 3.3% to 3972 in mid-afternoon trading and has tumbled about 38% this year. Amid signs of an accelerating slump, childcare centre chain ABC Learning was put in administration last week, while retailer Harvey Norman today said same-store sales fell 2.8% in the most recent four-week period.
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