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Palace ‘backs changes’ on royal succession, marriage

WHILE the hit TV series Downton Abbey portrays a family’s struggle with the status of women and Roman Catholics almost a century ago, 2013 looks likely to be the year when the royal family finally catches up.
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After doubts were raised over plans to change the rules on succession to the throne, British Prime Minister David Cameron has assured MPs that the moves have been cleared by Buckingham Palace.

Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell queried whether the plans – which will allow first-born women to take precedence in the line of succession for the first time and allow marriage to Catholics – had royal backing.

Sir Peter raised the issue  after Prince Charles’ questions about aspects of the plans earlier this week.

He said: ‘‘Bearing in mind that Bills which may be thought to affect the Royal Prerogative require the signification of the Queen at second reading, can you tell us whether you have yet heard from the palace whether it regards any of the major constitutional changes proposed in the Succession to the Crown Bill as intruding either on the Royal Prerogative or on the Coronation Oath which Her Majesty took?’’

Mr Cameron replied: ‘‘What I can say is throughout the process of bringing forward this proposal, which is a proposal that head of all the Commonwealth dominion realms have also signed up to, through that process there has been thorough contact between Number 10 Downing Street and the Palace.

‘‘All of the issues are settled and agreed.’’

The Bill, which will be retrospective when it becomes law, is expected to be pushed through the House of Commons in a single day.

It would allow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first baby to succeed to the throne whether it is a boy or a girl, something that the fictional Lord Grantham’s eldest daughter Mary is unable to do in Downton Abbey.

In another clear sign that the changes will proceed, the Queen has declared that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter she will bear the title ‘‘princess’’.

Under past rules, a girl born to Prince William and Kate would have been styled ‘‘lady’’ and not known as Her Royal Highness – only a first-born boy would automatically become a prince.

But the Queen has taken action, by issuing new Letters Patent, to insure her great-grandchild has a title suitable for a future monarch.

Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, said the alteration was expected in light of the forthcoming  legislation.

Press Association

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Battle to contain fires before heat returns

Firefighters have been backburning overnight to try and contain several major bushfires across NSW, taking advantage of the cool temperature before hot, windy weather sets in again.
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There are 126 bushfires burning across the state, including 15 that are not contained, on Thursday morning.

Over 1000 Rural Fire Service volunteers are working, using more than 80 firefighting aircraft and 360 trucks.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said firefighters are trying to contain the blazes before dangerous fire conditions return on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“When you’ve got more hot air dominating much of the state, which is already very dry and vegetation is highly susceptible to ignition and spread of any existing fire, that’s a real challenge to firefighters,” Mr Fitzsimmons told Sky News.

“We’re going to be working very closely with the weather authorities to make sure we’re identifying those most severe of conditions and those areas of concern.

“I expect to see more total fire bans across Friday and certainly into Saturday as these hot weather patterns dominate much of NSW.”

Crews were backburning at the Deans Gap fire, in the Shoalhaven on Wednesday night, but it has not been contained.

That fire has burnt through more than 5700 hectares of land.

Residents in Wandandian, Sussex Inlet, and those south of the coastal villages, are advised to remain vigilant and keep up to date with information.

Firefighters also spent the night backburning at the Cobbler Road fire, near Yass, to establish and strengthen containment lines around the blaze, which has burnt through 14,000 hectares and killed thousands of animals.

A bushfire continues to burn about 20 kilometres east of Cooma, in the state’s south, and residents are advised to stay informed.

A fire at Lithgow, which police believe was deliberately lit, is under control, but smoke is still affecting the town and the Bells Line of Road.

Mr Fitzsimmons said people in bushfire prone areas need to stay alert, and not always expect a warning message from the RFS.

“Some fires will start, they will take hold and they will spread so quickly that they could be impacting on people before someone’s even had a chance to report it to triple-0, or certainly before the fire engine is able to get on scene.

“Until someone’s got that crystal ball that can tell us exactly where that fire is going to be, and start, and exactly what time it’s going to be, that’s a reality of life.”

Total fire bans are in place in the North Western and Northern Slopes regions.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Raiders recruit emerges as bolter for All Stars game

Jake Foster with his fiancee, Kelly Brooks.Most league fans wouldn’t look twice if they passed him in the street, but that hasn’t stopped Canberra recruit Jake Foster emerging as a shock contender for the Indigenous All Stars next month.
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Despite Foster playing just 10 NRL games in five years for Canterbury, coach Laurie Daley said on Wednesday the unheralded forward was a serious chance of selection.

A shoulder injury to Kangaroos star Sam Thaiday, plus a lack of depth of Indigenous back-row talent, has improved his chances of playing in the season opener in Brisbane on February 9.

The 24-year-old, who moved to Canberra to kick-start his career, had attracted the 25th-most votes by Wednesday afternoon. Voting closes on Monday.

Fans vote in the first 17 players and the remaining three bench places are at the discretion of Daley.

It means Raiders supporters could receive an unexpected glimpse of what the Guildford Owls product has to offer, before he begins his two-year deal at the club.

Not bad for a player who remains absent from the Raiders’ player profiles on their official website. ”I think all players on the fringe who haven’t played a lot of first grade [are a chance] because we don’t have a lot of depth in the back row, and the forwards in particular will come into consideration,” Daley told The Canberra Times on Wednesday.

”He would be someone you may look at to have involved in that squad. We’ve got plenty of backs, we just need a few forwards.

”You need to look at what 17 has been delivered [by the fans] before you start looking at other people.”

Boom Raiders rookie Jack Wighton also remains a possibility, and would likely play a utility role off the bench should he get the nod.

Canberra forwards Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Joel Thompson, mainstays of the Indigenous side in the concept’s first three years, will retain their spots and are fourth and 10th respectively in voting.

Raiders teammate Blake Ferguson is 14th in voting, and is tipped to claim a wing spot alongside Souths flyer Nathan Merritt.

Ferguson moved to the centres with great success for Canberra last year, but Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges are pencilled in to play there for the Indigenous All Stars.

After his big game against the NRL All Stars last year, Daley said Learoyd-Lahrs would be ”one of the first front-rowers picked” if Daley became NSW coach.

Those comments bode well for the 27-year-old, as Daley takes over from former Raiders teammate Ricky Stuart as Blues coach this year. ”Most definitely [he can play Origin], I’ve always admired Tommy and think he’s a wonderful player, he’s a big body and has been there before,” Daley said.

”Hopefully he’s injury-free and if he’s in the right frame of mind and starts off well, he’ll be a big show.”

Canberra prop David Shillington looks well poised for a recall to the NRL All Stars squad, boasting a handy lead over incumbent Josh Dugan approaching the closing days of voting.

Shillington, who last played the match in 2010, is 18th on the list with nearly 2400 votes, comfortably in front of Dugan, who has been the Raiders’ designated representative the past two years.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Claiming the stairway to haven

The Grand Stair itself is not only of reclaimed timbers, but so too is the ceiling void.If one had to nominate the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Canberra then the Grand Stair just installed in the environmentally gentle Nishi building in New Acton would jostle for a place.
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Not quite finished (it leads from the Nishi’s downstairs foyer up to the unfinished foyer of an unfinished hotel), it is a hard-to-describe creation made of thousands of horizontally arranged pieces of reclaimed timber. Startled by the look of it in online pictures, we asked the Nishi supremos, the Molonglo Group, for a tour and explanation. We had as our tour guide Nectar Efkarpidis, one of the group’s three directors.

The idea of him as ”director” of a Group will summon a mental picture of a suited person of mature years, but he is startlingly young and was informally dressed, and tousled, and might have been an ANU post-grad.

He sounds truly earnest about Nishi’s planet-kindly mission and for the first time in my writing life (because cliches are not in my toolbox) I find myself able to describe someone, him, as softly-spoken.

He explains that the design is by March Studio of Melbourne and that, in Nishi’s spirit of sustainability, they’ve used reclaimed timber from a dismembered house, from a demolished basketball court, from about the Nishi site itself and offcuts from the building’s own distinctive blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) faç¸ade.

No two fragments of wood are the same. There are polished ones and rough ones, painted and unpainted ones, unblemished ones and others characterfully scarred by nails.

Above the staircase, but echoing it, there’s a ceiling space, a ceiling feature, made from 2150 more pieces of wood and then at the foot of the stairs there’s a continuing feature in the wall space. It is all indescribable but did feel, standing on the stairs and surrounded by thousands of horizontally ”flying” pieces of wood (the pieces are held together by hundreds of steel rods) as if one was in the middle of the frozen explosion of something wooden (a Spanish galleon perhaps) that has just been powerfully blown up with its smithereens flying away.

It’s all an alternative, Efkarpidis says, to ”having sterile, white, clean, fabricated materials brought in from China”.

”It was very much about having craftspeople paying respect to carpentry as a skill set. The intention of the building was always about ‘how do you create foyers and spaces, public spaces, that (a) are of genuine interest but also make a place?’ We want people to occupy this building.

”For us this ground-floor area, what we call the ground-floor plains, we see as public spaces, despite the fact that this is the building for [various clients]. We’ve always wanted the public spaces to be used not only by the tenants but by the entire community.

”It’s about welcoming, say, ANU students who might want to just sit here with a laptop.”

In time ANU students and others grazing there will get used to it, and be able to stop looking all about them in wonder and to concentrate on their laptops. But for the moment the ”flying” wooden pieces make the space feel excitingly crazy.

One of the designers says, acutely, ”I think you’ll agree the word ‘beautiful’ doesn’t cut it – the effect is so full of thought and expressive of so many stories, as well as being real nice to look at.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Long and short of it: Test focus to blame

CRICKET AUSTRALIA has acknowledged that its determination to regain Test supremacy might have affected its one-day results but refused to use this as excuse for the dismal performance in England.
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The immediate consequences of Australia’s dreadful limited-overs tour of England will be known next week when selectors pick the one-day squad for a series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The result suggests Australia have a mountain of work to do before the Ashes, especially on their batting, and heralded another injury crisis, with vice-captain Shane Watson, fast bowling sensation Pat Cummins and veteran paceman Brett Lee all breaking down with muscle injuries.

While George Bailey has made the most of his first two one-day series, the introduction of Peter Forrest, regarded as a potential Test batsman, and the return of Steve Smith have been less successful.

”There is a possibility, and there is a fine balance, that to try and deal with Test improvement there’s been a balance between ODI success and trying to develop players,” Howard said. ”Obviously that tour wasn’t acceptable and we’ve got to improve a lot in the next 12 months.

”We wanted people to develop and grow, and that takes time. There has been a methodology that the best players are the best players, and we’d get them in and expose them at different levels. We don’t make any excuses for our performances in England. We’re not going to throw out that it was a development tour. Four-nil wasn’t good enough.”

Watson’s calf injury is of particular concern given his importance as an all-rounder and his experience in the top order, with Australia’s batting looking distinctly vulnerable one year out from the Ashes, with tough series against South Africa and India to play before then.

”Mickey [Arthur] and myself and Shane have had conversations about when we can peak, when we can look after him, when does he get a break to try and rebuild himself. We’ve tried to map out the next 12 months with him,” Howard said. ”We’ve got a camp up in Darwin in the lead-up to the UAE tour, which he will be at. It’s not just Shane but all the guys who play three forms [of the game], and those conversations will be about getting them up for the big tours.

”Players can play all three forms. Whether or not they can play all games in all three forms is your challenge, particularly making sure the players have got enough load going up the levels in terms of the longer forms.”

There were no plans for Watson, who lost last summer to soft-tissue injuries, to give up bowling. ”When you look at his bowling, it has been such a positive for him,” Howard said.

Scans have suggested Lee’s calf injury is not as serious as first thought – he intends to be running again in 10 days – raising hopes that he will be fit for the World Twenty20 in September-October, which could be his international swansong.

”When we have more information the national selection panel can assess, can he get in a great position to keep playing? But he is a seasoned professional, he knows how to manage his body, and I’m sure he will be realistic,” Howard said.

Cummins, who has a side strain and was unveiled as a star recruit for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League yesterday, would be handled with care, Howard said. CA is working to ensure his workload is closely monitored whether.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

GALLERY: LIVE Party Pics

Margaret Morrison, of Brisbane, and Karina Sullivan, of Elermore Vale, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers John Makehan, of Pymble, and Ramsey Awad, of Merewether, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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Alison Blatt, of Merewether, and Meredith Makehan, of Pymble, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Cath Burden, of Adamstown Heights, Lynn Stevenson, of Warabrook, and Jane Burgess, of Lambton, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Natalie McKenzie, of Brisbane, and Aaron Twigg, of Swansea, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Kiera Parr, of Glendale, Daniel Donev, of Glendale, and Aleah Parr, of Cardiff, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Sara Davenport, of Adamstown, Alisha Forbes, of Charlestown, Jaimie Abbott, of Georgetown, and Sarah Brown, of Mayfield, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Caitlin Rodgers, of Valentine, and Amelia James, of Wingham, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Shelby Brinkley, of Wallsend, and Renee Bryant, of Canberra, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jessica Giannetto and Steve Couri, both of The Hill, at Bar Petite. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Mandy McDonald and Sean Hobson, both of Cardiff South, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Kate Gunn, of Waratah, and Adele Park, of Edgeworth, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Patrick, Tracy and Emily Ward, all of Denman, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Kristy Fayle, of Charlestown, with Mungo the dog, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Rhianna Wansey, of North Lambton, and Tayla Hill, of Coal Point, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jo Taylor, Liam Robertson and Emma Gallagher, all of Merewether, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Kevin Sweeney, Liz Hickling, Ellen Sweeney and James Sweeney, all of Hamilton, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Damon Bowtell and Lyn Bowtell, both of Morpeth, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Jacinda Gorring and Suzanne Gorring, both of Glen Oak, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Moira Thomas and Ian Thomas, both of The Hill, at Lizotte’s Newcastle to see The Audreys. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

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Newcastle Herald photographer Max Mason-Hubers captured LIVE Party Pics at Bar Petite and The Audreys’ gig at Lizotte’s Newcastle.

Were you there?

Cyclist defies expectations

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY
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Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Photos: CRAIG HOLLOWAY

Source: Ballarat Courier

Damien Howson stood up to the pressure and lived up to expectations to become the new national under-23 men’s cycling time trial champion in Ballarat yesterday.

Howson, 20, will carry the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships’ title colours into the Tour Down Under later this month before heading to Europe with the Australian national under-23 team.

Despite his performance, he is not likely to focus on the time trial again until the lead up to world championships later in the year.

Howson averaged 50.5km/h to clock 34 minutes, 42.18 seconds for the 29.2-kilometres.

Alex Morgan (Victoria) collected silver, while Tasmanian Campbell Flakemore was bronze medallist for the second year in a row.

Jordan Kelly (Queensland) led early but was relegated to fourth after his time was swamped by the last three riders.

Howson said finding and keeping a rhythm had been key to his gold medal performance.

He said being favourite definitely added to the pressure of the day even though he did not let it play on his mind.

Howson said he was relieved as much as anything to get the job done.

“All I did was focus on what I had to do.

“I knew my best should be good enough.”

Howson said that although the course was “pancake flat”, varying wind speeds across the lake initially, and then direct cross winds, had made the event tough.

In his seventh year in the sport, Howson said it had been all or nothing with five kilometres to go.

“I had to dig deep.”

He will now back up in tonight’s under-23 criterium and Saturday’s road race.

Dog can smell diabetic danger

Carolyn Maxwell with the book she wrote about her diabetic alert dog Devo. Picture: KYLIE ESLERA WHIPPET in a green jacket is Carolyn Maxwell’s constant companion whenever she does her grocery shopping at Lavington.
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But Devo often confounds new supermarket employees who want to know why he’s allowed in the store.

Devo is a diabetic alert dog, who can detect when Miss Maxwell’s blood sugar levels are getting low.

He lets her know by jumping up on her that it’s time to test herself.

Miss Maxwell has had her special companion for five years, and takes him wherever she goes.

“It takes forever to do the groceries sometimes,” she said with a smile.

“People seem really interested in what he does.

“I can tell who is new at the shops because they don’t know the story behind Devo and that he’s allowed to come with me wherever I go.”

To explain his role, Miss Maxwell has published a children’s book about the exploits of Devo and some of his animal friends.

The dogs help ensure low blood sugar is detected early, to prevent diabetic attacks.

The proceeds will support Paws for Diabetes, the group that helped Miss Maxwell obtain her helper, as well as animal rescue charities.

Devo has been trained since he was a pup to smell changes in the chemical composition of Miss Maxwell’s skin, able to tell when her blood sugar is low.

To start Devo’s training, Miss Maxwell had to safely lower her blood sugar slightly, wipe her skin with a cloth, then send that cloth to the dog trainer.

Miss Maxwell was able to meet Devo after becoming involved with the Paws for Diabetics group.

“There are a lot of diabetic people and having one of these dogs can be really useful for some people,” she said.

Miss Maxwell and other members of the Paws for Diabetes committee will be speaking to the Albury-Wodonga Diabetes Support group on January 23.

“We really want to get the word out about the Paws for Diabetes group,” Miss Maxwell said.

“Having a medical assistance animal is a big responsibility but they can also be extremely helpful and can significantly improve the quality of life for some people.”

Miss Maxwell’s books can be bought from Dymocks in Albury or from Todd’s Tasty Treats stores in Albury and Wodonga.

Escape from a firestorm

If Ray Ellen stayed at his home any longer, he doubts he would be able to tell his remarkable story of survival.
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Mr Ellen was the only person home at hisCarnghamhome, west of Ballaraton Tuesday afternoon, and when he saw smoke coming over the trees, he knew danger was imminent.

He estimated he had an hour to save as many animals as he could before he fled.

He originally started driving his daughter’s small car, but did not think it would make it up his steep driveway, with burning tree limbs falling.

Instead he opted for his four-wheel-drive ute, a decision he says saved his life.

The father-of-four threw as many dogs as he could in the car before he drove away at the last second.

“I had a dog up front, probably seven in the trailer and I don’t know how many in the back,” he said.

Mr Ellen burnt his hand trying to open the metal gate, as the fast-approaching fire threatened to take his life.

“I actually had to step through fire to open the driver’s door. My biggest fear was that a limb would fall and knock me out and that I would be done for,” he said.

However the danger was far from over once Mr Ellen had made it out his front gate.

Blinding smoke meant he could not see a thing, but at the same time he had to flee the fire that was roaring behind him at high speed.

He drove along the dirt road of Station Lane, which has bends that can be tricky to negotiate at the best of times.

“I put the headlights on, put my head out the window to try and see the trees, held the horn down and drove,” said Mr Ellen.

He eventually found the safety of Carngham Road and once he saw the flashing lights of firetrucks, breathed an enormous sigh of relief.

He said the house next to him (which was also destroyed) was on fire, but he did not know until about midday yesterday whether his home had survived.

Sadly, he returned to find nothing but a pile of rubble.

Remarkably however, nearly all of the animals on the hobby farm had survived.

Some were more than 15 metres from the house, and Mr Ellen was still in disbelief they had not been killed.

Among the survivors were two sheep, two goats, two horses, two foals, a pig, chickens and even a few cats.

“We’ve lost the house but we can rebuild that,” he said.

“We haven’t lost any people and everybody is OK and really, that is all that matters.”

Mr Ellen vowed to rebuild the home that housed his wife Gayle, two daughters Kylie and Melissa and three grandchildren.

Ray Ellen says if he had stayed at his home any longer he would not have made it out alive. Photo: LACHLAN BENCE

Overseas leads point to positive start

The Australian sharemarket is set for a positive open today as world markets rose on a better than expected start to corporate earnings season in the United States.
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Aluminium maker Alcoa beat expectations with its fourth quarter earnings late on Tuesday, setting a positive tone for several weeks of earnings reports.

Investors pay close attention to Alcoa’s results and forecasts because the aluminium it makes is used in so many industries including construction and manufacturing.

The ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was six points higher at 4,684.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added 17.9 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 4,708.1 and the broader All Ordinaries index gained 17.8 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 4,730.1.AAP

What you need to knowSPI futures up 6 points to 4684In the US, the S&P500 has added 0.3% to 1,461.01In Europe, London’s FTSE gained 0.7% to 6098.65Germany’s DAX finished 0.3% higher at 7720.47Gold slipped to $US1656.85 an ounceNY Oil down at $US93.10 per barrelIron ore flat at $US158.50AUD fetching $US1.0512

In economic news on Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases building approvals data for November.

Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird said it typically takes a few quarters for interest rate cuts to spur building approvals.

“Our forecast for this month is a rise in building approvals of 12 per cent. We expect to see a sustained pick-up in housing investment and therefore total dwelling approvals over 2013. Our forecast is for around 160,000 new dwellings to be approved in 2013,” Mr Aird said.

Global markets

US stocks edged up on Wednesday after Alcoa got the earnings season under way with better-than-expected revenue and an encouraging outlook for the year.

Traders have been cautious as the current quarter was shaping up like the previous one, with companies lowering expectations in recent weeks, said James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund.

“So the big question and focus is on revenue, and Alcoa had better-than-expected revenue,” which calmed the market a little, Dailey said.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 59.47 points, or 0.45 per cent, at 13,388.32. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 3.86 points, or 0.26 per cent, at 1,461.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.93 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 3,106.74.

Britain’s blue-chip stocks hit their highest level since May 2008 on Wednesday, with gains led by banking stocks and miners after a reassuring start to the US earnings season boosted demand for riskier assets.

The FTSE 100 broke through a near two-year high at 6,105.77 in afternoon trade, following a strong opening on Wall Street, peaking at 6,112.27, before settling to close up 45.02 points, or 0.7 per cent, at 6,098.65.

Japan’s Nikkei average rose on Wednesday, as a halt in the yen’s gains prompted investors to buy shares of exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor who would gain from a more competitive currency.

The Nikkei gained 0.7 per cent to 10,578.57, breaching above its five-day moving average at 10,553.79, after trading as low as 10,398.61 earlier in the session.

Commodities

Gold was down marginally on Wednesday, losing early gains as a stronger dollar weighed against background support from firmer equities markets. Spot gold edged down to $US1,657.35 an ounce, while US gold futures for December delivery were down 0.1 per cent at $US1,659.60.

Oil slipped on Wednesday as increasing US production and rising crude oil and refined products inventories applied pressure.

Brent February crude fell 48 cents to $US111.46 a barrel. Brent’s $US111.11 session low was only 2 cents under the 100-day moving average of $111.13. US February crude was down 22 cents at $US92.93 a barrel, having traded from $US92.68 to $US93.65.

BusinessDay with wires

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.