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$A slides further, flirts with 75 US cents

The Australian dollar is flirting with the 75 US cent mark after continuing its slide against its steady US counterpart. At 0635 AEDT on Friday, the Australian dollar was worth 75.08 US cents, down from 75.44 US cents on Thursday. Westpac’s Imre Speizer says the US dollar initially extended its gains, along with US equities…

Aussie dollar poised for a surge in 2018

Improving global growth and synchronised interest rate hikes could drive the Australian dollar as high as 90 US cents next year, an economist says. After a lacklustre 2017 for the local currency, a looming shift in global monetary policy is likely to support gains for the Aussie dollar, HSBC chief economist Australia and New Zealand…

Bank probe to include payday lenders

Payday lenders and mortgage brokers will make up part of the remit of the royal commission into the banking and financial services sector. This will take focus of the year-long inquiry beyond the four big banks, one of the criticisms levelled at the Turnbull government when the royal commission was first announced. The letters of…

To save climate, stop investing in fossil fuels: economists

The development of oil, gas and coal energy must stop in order to avoid the worst ravages of global warming, 80 top economists said Thursday, days ahead of a climate summit in Paris.‘We call for an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in…

Bitcoin surges towards $17,000 as concerns mount

Bitcoin flirted with $17,000 on Thursday, triggering a warning the cryptocurrency was ‘like a charging train with no brakes’ and prompting fresh concern about its looming launch on mainstream markets.Still under $14,000 in Asian trading hours, it smashed through $15,000 in European trading and then later surged to $16,777.08 around 1630 GMT, according to Bloomberg…

Australia bourse to use blockchain in ‘world-first’

Australia’s main stock exchange has said it will use blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, to process its equities transactions in a shift touted as a world-first for a major financial institution.The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), the eighth-largest sharemarket in the world, will replace its current system CHESS with the distributed ledger technology to manage…

US stocks gain ahead of November jobs data

Wall Street stocks pushed higher Thursday, shrugging off this week’s lackluster trading on the eve of the closely-watched US jobs report for November.Analysts expect the monthly Labor Department report due out early Friday will show US added 190,000 jobs while unemployment held steady at 4.1 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 0.3…

‘All-consuming’ Brexit dictates – and jeopardises – May’s agenda

As politicians thrash out the terms of a Brexit deal with Brussels, civil servants in Britain are facing up to a mammoth administrative task that risks crowding out anything else.Members of the public body charged with promoting social mobility quit en masse last weekend, with its chairman Alan Milburn warning that ministers did not have…

Asia News Agenda Friday

ASIA NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ON FRIDAY+ Malaysians demonstrate against Trump Jerusalem move+ Sentencing of three men in Hong Kong explosives plotMALAYSIA– Demonstration planned outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur in protest at President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.HONG KONG– Sentencing of three men found guilty in an explosives plot.– OTHER AGENDA ITEMS…

China exports soar higher than expected in November

Chinese exports surged more than twice the expected pace in November, official data showed on Friday, providing some more welcome news pointing to improvement in the world’s number-two economy.The healthy trade data, which also showed imports outstripping forecasts, come as Beijing looks to tackle industrial overcapacity, winter pollution and a ballooning debt pile.Exports jumped 12.3…