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Oil producers keep output squeeze despite Russia concerns

Nations that supply a majority of the world’s oil agreed Thursday to keep a lid on output for all of 2018, despite Russia starting to get cold feet and tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.The 24 nations, which account for some 60 percent of global supply, will maintain production curbs of…

US stocks end at records, Dow closes above 24,000 for 1st time

The Dow finished above 24,000 points for the first time Thursday, surging with the S&P 500 to fresh records as the Senate tax cut plan moved closer to passage.At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 24,261.06, jumping 1.3 percent. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to close at 2,647.23, while the…

US Congress urged to extend government spending to avert shutdown

US lawmakers should pass a temporary spending bill in the coming week in order to avoid a crippling government shutdown, House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday.With a December 8 deadline looming to avoid closures affecting much of the federal government, Congress faces a narrowing window to either fund operations through the fiscal year ending…

Gold trader implicates Erdogan in US Iran-sanctions trial

A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testifying at trial in New York on Thursday implicated Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a multi-million-dollar gold-for-oil scheme allegedly designed to subvert US sanctions on Iran.Reza Zarrab, 34, who was arrested in Miami in 2016 before agreeing to cooperate with US prosecutors, implied that Erdogan knew how he and a…

Google data-saving tool aims to help manage smartphone bills

Google is taking aim at the ‘next billion’ internet users with a way to stop smartphone apps from needlessly burning through costly mobile data allowances.A newly release application dubbed Datally made available free at the Google Play Store this week lets people see when games, social networks or other programs are using internet connections in…

Amazon brings Alexa from the home to the office in a new AI push

Amazon announced Thursday it is bringing its Alexa digital assistant to the workplace, expanding artificial intelligence efforts that have gained traction in the home market.‘Alexa for Business brings the Alexa you know and love into the workplace to help all types of workers to be more productive and organized on both personal and shared Echo…

The Week Ahead

The month of December begins in Australia with the Reserve Bank meeting, economic growth, retail and international trade data being released. The US employment report, together with China inflation and trade data feature overseas.Originally published by Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec

As key tax vote nears, Trump pressing for a major victory

Donald Trump closed in on a major political victory Thursday in the US Senate, where his controversial tax reform bill received a boost from the influential John McCain, even though he is often at odds with the president.The Republican majority appeared likely to adopt the bill – in what would be the first-year president’s most…

CommSec Daily Report Friday

Latest NewsLocal shares are off to a buoyant start to the last month of 2017 as it rebounds from yesterday’s weakness. The ASX 200 has recouped a fair chunk of the 41 point loss from the day before. The index is 30 points or 0.5% higher and just a touch above 6000pts at the time…

Republican tax plan hangs in balance in US Senate

US Republicans scrambled to salvage their tax plan Thursday after it hit unexpected hurdles, with senators mulling adding future tax hikes into the overhaul as a means of maintaining sufficient revenue.The tension marked an abrupt shift in the path that President Donald Trump’s tax plan had been taking in the Senate: his party had hoped…