Jun 4, 2010

Vale spreads its Queensland wings … be wary of higher US jobs figures …

Vale spends a lazy $200 million for Belvedere mine, counters count in US jobs count, there are more cars on the roads all over the place, vegie prices tumble in China and other business news.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

Tax watch: from the follow the money and watch what we do, not what we say manual: Vale, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, has spent the best part of $200 million buying control of the Belvedere underground coking coal mine in Queensland. The final deal, done yesterday, came the same day as Xstrata and its noisy CEO Mick Davis put more projects on hold in Queensland because of the proposed resources super tax. Aquila went into a trading halt this week, but overnight Vale said it had bought the 24.5% stake in the Belvedere mine that Aquila Resources owned. That was after it bought a 25% stake in the mine from American Metals and Coal Industries for $US92 million earlier this week.

US job watch: be careful when hailing what is expected to be another big month for the American job market when May’s employment data is released tonight. Most forecasts say at least 500,000 new jobs will be created. But most of this seemingly huge number will come from the hiring splurge for the forthcoming US census. The Census Bureau this week said that it had 573,779 workers on its payroll in mid-May, up from about 160,000 in mid-April.  The agency hired has hired hundreds of thousands of temporary workers to help with the once-a-decade census, and economists have been expecting that to provide a large, if short-lived, lift to the still-weak job market. Excluding the census boost, US forecasters expect about 200,000 new jobs to have been added in May. The April jobs report highlighted 66,000 census-related jobs.

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