Shipbuilders in Australia are trying to lock in defense contracts with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government as the nation’s biggest manufacturing union warned the industry may lose 3,000 jobs unless projects are secured.
Australia’s unemployment rate climbed to the highest level in more than 10 years in January, spurring traders to pare bets on an interest-rate increase and sending the Aussie to its biggest drop in almost three weeks.
Automakers have been making cars in Australia since Ford Motor Co. began assembling Model Ts in a converted wool store near Melbourne. That’s poised to end in three years, when Toyota Motor Corp. shuts its production lines in Altona about 60 kilometers (37 miles) away.
Macquarie Group Ltd. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. are among firms planning bids for about A$2 billion ($1.8 billion) of loans being sold by Investec Plc, said two people with knowledge of the matter.