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Finance News Update, what you need to know


The Australian dollar is slightly higher after the minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s May meeting gave no clarity on the timing of an interest rate rise.


At 0630 AEST on Thursday, the local unit was trading at 76.86 US cents, up from 76.77 cents on Wednesday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open flat after Wall Street rose as the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting show a split on the timing of a US interest rate rise.

At 0645 AEST on Thursday, the June share price index futures contract was up five points at 5,964.


WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve policymakers were split at their last meeting on when to raise ultra-low interest rates, with liftoff ranging from June to 2016, minutes to the meeting show.

WASHINGTON – International banks have slowed cross-border lending since the financial crisis, but their local affiliates are filling the gap in a positive sign for greater financial stability, the IMF says.

LONDON – Interest rates are expected to be left on hold when Bank of England officials announce their last policy decision before the May 7 General Election.

LONDON – Energy titan Royal Dutch Shell has announced a mega-takeover of British rival BG Group worth STG47 billion ($A91 billion), consolidating their positions in a sector battered by sliding oil prices.

NEW YORK – Generic drug giant Mylan has offered to acquire healthcare supplier Perrigo for $US28.9 billion ($A37.9 billion) in the latest proposed mega-merger in the pharmaceutical sector.

PARIS – The French government is increasing its holding in carmaker Renault to gain a blocking minority stake and ensure that measures designed to reward long-term investors come into force.

BRUSSELS – The EU has put more than 30 Iranian shipping companies and a top bank back on its nuclear sanctions list after a European court had earlier struck them off, citing insufficient evidence.

WASHINGTON – AT&T will pay a $US25 million ($A33 million) fine for “lax security” at overseas call centres where employees stole personal data for mobile phone traffickers, US regulators say.

BRASLIA – Prices in Brazil spurted 1.32 per cent in March, the biggest monthly jump in 12 years, lifting inflation in Latin America’s largest economy to 8.13 per cent on an annualised basis.

BERLIN – German officials have ordered Google to limit the collection of personal data, in the US internet giant’s latest run-in with authorities in the European Union.

MONTREAL – Armed robbers have made off with nearly 200kg of gold worth $US8.5 million ($A11.1 million) at current prices from Canadian firm McEwen Mining’s mine in Sinaloa, Mexico, the company says.

HONG KONG – German top-of-the-range carmaker BMW has recalled almost 80,000 of its vehicles in China due to flaws in their engines, China’s quality regulator says.

NEW YORK – Insurance giant American International Group says it has won US government approval to use drones to survey disaster areas, including territory that may be otherwise inaccessible.