WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:
The Australian dollar has drifted higher following a rally on global share markets.
At 0630 AEST on Wednesday, the local currency was trading at 92.69 US cents, up from 92.39 cents on Tuesday.
And the Australian share market looks set to open higher following Wall Street’s gains on mixed economic data and corporate earnings as a two-day US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting got underway.
At 0645 AEST on Wednesday, the June share price index futures contract was was up 22 points at 5,499.
WASHINGTON – US consumers lost a bit of confidence in April, but still held on to views of an improving economy and labor market, The Conference Board says.
WASHINGTON – US home prices rose in February but at slower annual pace, adding evidence to the faltering recovery in the housing market, the S&P/Case-Shiller index shows.
MADRID – Spain’s unemployment rate has climbed to nearly 26 per cent in the first quarter of 2014 as millions searched in vain for a job in a sluggish recovery from recession.
BERLIN – Prices in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, have risen more in April than in March, reflecting the Easter holiday, official preliminary data show.
UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council has lifted a nearly decade-old embargo on Ivory Coast’s international diamond trade and also relaxed its arms embargo there.
NEW YORK – Twitter has reported a $US132 million ($A143 million) loss in the first quarter, while revenues rose sharply and the popular messaging platform boosted its user base.
SAN JOSE, California – EBay has recorded a loss in the first-quarter due to a hefty tax charge on foreign earnings, but has revenue jumped as more customers shop at its e-commerce site and its PayPal payments business stays strong.
LONDON – BP net profits plunged in the first quarter compared with the outcome a year ago when the group sold its stake in a Russian joint venture, the British energy giant says.
MOSCOW – Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom has posted a second successive drop in annual profits, and warns that the escalating crisis in Ukraine could disrupt its crucial supplies to Europe.
AKRON, Ohio – Goodyear has reported a $US58 million ($A62 million) loss for the first quarter largely due to Venezuelan currency charges.
WHITEHOUSE STATION, New Jersey – Major cost cuts has enabled drugmaker Merck & Co to offset lower first-quarter sales as generic competition continues to hurt sales of former blockbuster medicines. Merck’s profit rose seven per cent, trouncing Wall Street expectations.
BERLIN – Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest car maker, has posted a solid and better-than-expected first-quarter result maintained its forecasts for the year.