Peggy Curtis spent Thanksgiving week out of work, the first layoff in her 37 years making cigarettes in a Reidsville, North Carolina, factory. Instead of moping, she went shopping for holiday decorations at Home Depot Inc.
Westpac Banking Corp., Australia’s second-largest bank, reported first-quarter profit that was lower than a year earlier as rising funding costs squeezed the profitability of its lending. The shares fell.
Australia’s biggest lenders will be unable to sustain the discounts they’re now offering to mortgage borrowers in their efforts to boost flagging credit growth, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Fujitsu Ltd. said.
Macquarie Group Ltd. , the Australian investment bank that increased staff by 46 percent since March 2007, faces calls to shrink its workforce as a slump in trading and fees from arranging mergers erodes profit.