WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:
The Australian dollar is recovering, following losses on the back of soft retail sales data and more evidence that the cash rate will remain at its record low for some time.
At 0640 AEDT on Friday, the Australian dollar was trading at 92.30 US cents, up from 92.14 cents on Thursday.
And the Australian share market looks set to open flat with Wall Street little changed as investors digest a series of economic data ahead of Friday’s big US jobs report for March.
At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the June share price index futures contract was down one point at 5,409.
WASHINGTON – The US trade deficit increased sharply in February as imports rose and exports fell amid signs of slowing growth in China and Europe’s tepid recovery, official data shows.
WASHINGTON – The US services sector activity picked up steam in March, partly reversing a steep decline in February, the Institute for Supply Management says.
WASHINGTON – First-time claims for US unemployment benefits rose last week but the overall trend continued to point to an improving jobs market, government data showed Thursday.
PARIS – Growth in rich economies slowed to 0.5 per cent in the last quarter of 2013 because companies in Europe cut back their stocks of materials after a build-up in the third quarter, the OECD says.
FRANKFURT – The European Central Bank has kept its gunpowder dry again, holding its key interest rates unchanged for the fifth month in a row.
FRANKFURT – The European Central Bank is determined to maintain eurozone easy-money policies and will take rapid action if needed, bank president Mario Draghi said on Thursday after the bank held rates low.
ROME – World food prices reached their highest level for 10 months in March because of poor weather in major producing countries and the crisis in Ukraine, a top grain exporter, the United Nations food agency says.
OTTAWA – Canada posted a $Can290 million ($A285 million) trade surplus for the month of February as auto sales ticked up following extended holiday shutdowns at US and Canadian manufacturing plants.
NEW YORK – Anadarko Petroleum will pay $US5.1 billion ($A5.5 billion) to settle billions in environmental claims against Kerr-McGee, an oil company it acquired in 2006.
ROME – Internet giant Google has paid a one-million-euro ($A1.5 million) fine in relation to privacy breaches in Italy, the country’s privacy watchdog says.