Surprisingly strong economic growth in China
has given a fresh fillip to the mining industry as Rio Tinto yesterday
revealed it was churning out metals and minerals as fast as it could in
the face of continued strong demand, reports The Australian. China’s June quarter economic growth of 9.5% confounded
expectations of a slight slowdown in GDP.

Also in The Oz, UBS has estimated that a merger between the Nine Network and Fairfax could create a $6.7 billion media giant
controlled by PBL through
its 40% stake, following recent reports of talks to
swap Nine for shares in Fairfax.

The legal stoush brought on by Kerry Stokes’s Seven Network is
going to be the biggest trial in the media industry’s corporate
history, says Elizabeth Knight in the SMH. Damages sought are $1.1 billion, and one respondent has
estimated the combined legal fees between the 23 parties to the
action will top $200 million. It’s a litigation lawyer’s dream come
true.

The Age reports that Australia’s property market is gently landing in what is
probably one of the mildest ever housing downturns, but it could be
at least three years before the next updraft propels it back
up.

And The Fin Review reports, Galileo Shopping America Trust will
double in size after clinching a US$968 milion ($1.3 billion) deal in
the US, as Australian listed property trusts continue to search for
offshore growth opportunities. ASX-listed property groups now own more
than $37 billion of property overseas, with several more mergers and
acquisitions expected in the next few months.

On Wall Street, US stocks staged a late session rally overnight,
sending the Nasdaq tech index up to its highest close since June 2001 (up 15.39 points to 2,188),
after investors focused on some strong earnings reports in the
biotechnology sector. The Dow Jones was up 42.6 points to 10,689 – MarketWatch has a full report here.

Peter Fray

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