Finance News Update, what you need to know

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17 Mar 2019

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

The Australian dollar has bounced back after falling on weak Chinese manufacturing data.

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At 0630 AEDT on Friday, the Australian dollar was trading at 87.78 US cents, up from 87.34 cents on Thursday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open higher following solid gains on Wall Street after data showed that the US economy had grown better than expected.

At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the March share price index futures contract was up 15 points at 5,155.

ELSEWHERE:

WASHINGTON – The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent in the 2013 fourth quarter, slightly stronger than expected despite the partial government shutdown.

WASHINGTON – New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits jumped last week, breaking out of a five-week stretch of modestly low numbers, the US Labor Department said Thursday.

FOSTER CITY, California – Visa’s fiscal first-quarter net income increased nine per cent, as higher card spending boosted the number of payments it processed.

LONDON – Royal Dutch Shell will suspend drilling in offshore Alaska after a US court decision and as the oil major streamlines operations following a slump in annual profits, it said on Thursday.

NEW YORK – US oil giant ExxonMobil says fourth-quarter earnings have sagged under a drop in oil and gas production and major declines in its international refining and chemical businesses.

STOCKHOLM – Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson said Thursday it doubled profits in 2013 despite sluggish sales and a weak fourth quarter.

MILWAUKEE – Harley-Davidson’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 6.8 per cent as motorcycle sales continued to rise worldwide.

NEW YORK – 3M says its fourth-quarter earnings have jumped more than 11 per cent, fuelled in part by a revenue gain from the Post-it note maker’s industrial business.

NEW YORK – Viacom is reporting a 16 per cent jump in net income for the first quarter thanks in part to smaller losses at its film division.

NEW YORK – Facebook shares have staged a strong rally, buoyed by news of stronger-than-expected profits and sizzling gains in mobile advertising revenue.

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