Pressure is mounting on the Australian Stock Exchange to
investigate Pacific Brands after its chief executive Paul Moore
admitted the clothing company’s investor relations manager spoke to
a Macquarie Equities analyst the day before announcing an earnings
downgrade, reports The SMH. The admission adds to claims from an institutional fund manager
holding Pacific Brands shares who told the Herald it was “an
open secret” last Thursday that the maker of Berlei bras and Bonds
singlets had discussed earnings forecasts with analysts, sparking
speculation a profit downgrade was “in the pipeline” and sending
the shares sliding 7 per cent.

Backed by a continuing tight market, Australian
iron ore majors Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton are expected to press for a
significant hike in contract prices this week when they resume annual
price talks with Japanese steel mills in Tokyo, reports The Australian. But the most important meeting in Tokyo this week will be that between
the mills and world’s largest producer, Brazil’s CVRD, the acknowledged
price setter among the producers, which has so far taken an
aggressive stance.

And The Fin Review reports that Woodside Petroleum chief executive
Don Voelte has set an aggressive goal to generate up to half the
company’s revenue overseas within the 10 years by seeking new oil and
gas reserves in the US and Africa.

By any standard Google is the most astonishing company on the
planet, says The Guardian‘s Victor Keegan in The Age, the 21st century’s version of the philosopher’s stone,
turning the useless ones and noughts of computer code into
shareholders’ gold and consumers’ enlightenment. But beneath all this, Google remains a slightly dodgy long-term
proposition. Although it’s diversifying in all directions, it
remains essentially a one-product company. Just as Google, a second
mover, dislodged AltaVista a few years ago, so a newer, better
search engine could do the same to Google.