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THE NEWS WRAP: Australian dollar flirts with parity

Friday, 15 October 2010 | By Oliver Milman

The Australian dollar came within a whisker of parity with its US counterpart overnight, hitting a high of US99.94cents.


However, it pulled back sharply to US99.01cents at 6am this morning, before pushing up again to US99.51cents.


The US99.94cent mark is the highest level hit by the Australian dollar since it was floated in 1983. Economists at the Commonwealth Bank had previously predicted that the dollar would reach level-pegging with the greenback by today.


ATO tax advice for small firms


The Australian Tax Office has offered "practical" advice to small businesses to help soften the blow of a recent ruling on trusts.


The Tax Office is looking to inform firms that are concerned about being hit by 'double tax' on trusts that use 'unpaid present entitlement' arrangements.


Seek co-founder quits


Paul Bassat, who co-founded online jobs portal Seek 13 years ago, is to stand down as joint chief executive. Bassat, who built the business from scratch to achieve a stranglehold on the online jobs market in Australia, will hand over sole control of the company to his brother Andrew next June.


Bank rates set for rise


The chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank has become the latest high-ranking bank official to signal that interest rates for lenders will go above the official Reserve Bank rate.


Ralph Norris said that there was "no doubt" that banks will raise their rates, echoing his CEO counterparts at ANZ and Westpac.