Finance News Update, what you need to know


The Australian dollar has drifted lower following disappointing international trade figures.

At 0630 AEST on Thursday, the local currency was trading at 94.39 US cents, down from 94.63 cents on Wednesday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open higher after both the Dow Jones and the S& P 500 reached record highs for the second session in a row, buoyed by good jobs figures.

At 0645 AEST on Thursday, the September share price index futures contract was up 22 points at 5,434.


WASHINGTON – A private survey shows US business hiring surged in June, a sign of stronger economic growth.

WASHINGTON – Orders to US factories have fallen, ending three months of gains.

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she doesn’t see a need for the Fed to start raising interest rates to defuse the risk that extremely low rates could destabilise the financial system.

LISBON – Portugal has raised $US4 billion ($A4.33 billion) in its first sale of US dollar-denominated bonds in four years, luring strong investor interest less than two months after emerging from a 78 billion euros ($A116.99 billion) international bailout.

LONDON – UK house prices have surpassed their 2007 peak to stand at a new all-time average high of STG188,903 ($A344,808) UK in June, Nationwide has reported.

NEW YORK – After French giant BNP Paribas, other big European banks like Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and UniCredit may be in the cross-hairs of US authorities for sanctions-busting.

BRUSSELS – The European Commission has approved the acquisition by telecom giant Vodafone of Spanish cable firm Ono, judging that the transaction posed little threat to competition.

FRANKFURT – German top-of-the-range car maker BMW is to invest around one billion euros ($A1.50 billion) in a brand new factory in Mexico, an industry source says.

DETROIT – New Ford CEO Mark Fields will get a pay package worth $US5.25 million ($A5.68 million) this year as he takes over for the retiring Alan Mulally.

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook has announced a deal to buy online video advertising technology company LiveRail.

LONDON – British data protection authorities are investigating revelations that Facebook conducted a psychological experiment on its users.

WASHINGTON – A California venture capitalist says he won the US government auction of bitcoins, and plans to use them to help emerging economies that are “hamstrung by weak currencies”.