Finance News Update, what you need to know

02.Finance News Update what you need to know

(Australian Associated Press)

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

The Australian dollar is virtually unchanged as wary investors await key Chinese trade figures.

At 0630 AEDT on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at 69.84 US cents, up from 69.81 cents on Tuesday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open flat after US and European shares pared earlier gains when depressed oil prices failed to sustain a rally.

At 0645 AEST on Wednesday, the share price index was down one point at 4,879.

ELSEWHERE:

WASHINGTON – US job openings rose in November and employers appeared to have trouble finding qualified workers, a trend that could trigger a pick-up in wage growth this year.

LONDON – Oil company BP is cutting some 4000 jobs in exploration and production over the next two years amid sharp drops in the price of crude.

BEIJING – China’s auto sales rose 18.3 per cent in December over a year earlier on explosive demand for SUVs, pushing the year’s total sales to 21.1 million, an industry group reported Tuesday.

LOS ANGELES – California air quality regulators are rejecting Volkswagen’s recall plan to fix vehicles including the Beetle and Jetta that were programmed to trick government emissions tests.

JAKARTA – Indonesian energy company Lapindo Brantas plans to resume drilling for gas near the site of a mud volcano, its CEO says, referring to a disaster that some scientists say it helped to create around 10 years ago.

MANAMA, Bahrain – Bahrain and Oman are reducing government subsidies on petrol, becoming the latest Gulf Arab countries to try to cut back on spending and offset the effect of oil prices, which have fallen to their lowest level since 2003.

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