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Finance News Update, what you need to know

WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

The Australian dollar is practically unchanged ahead of key employment figures.

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At 0630 AEDT on Thursday, the currency was trading at 72.16 US cents, up from 72.15 cents on Wednesday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open lower after Wall Street reversed course into negative territory as oil prices resumed their slide.

At 0645 AEDT on Thursday, the December share price index futures contract was down 33 points at 5,048.

ELSEWHERE:

THE HAGUE – The Dutch agriculture co-operative Rabobank has announced it will cut more than a third of its local workforce, slashing 9000 jobs over the next three years as it streamlines operations.

BENGALURU, India – Yahoo has shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, citing tax concerns, and will instead create a separate company to hold the rest of its assets.

ANKARA – Russia’s Rosatom has stopped construction work at Turkey’s first planned nuclear power plant, Turkish energy officials have revealed, with relations between Moscow and Ankara still sour after the downing of a Russian jet.

DOVER, Delaware – Shares of Dow Chemical and DuPont were trading sharply higher Wednesday amid reports that the two chemical giants are in advanced merger discussions.

PARIS – French hotel group AccorHotels says it has agreed to buy Canada’s FRHI, owners of the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel luxury hotel groups, from its current Qatari and Saudi owners.

FRANKFURT – Allegations that Volkswagen lied about the carbon dioxide emissions of up to 800,000 cars appear to evaporate into thin air as the embattled German car maker says they have been proven to be largely unfounded.

SANTIAGO – US billionaire Douglas Tompkins, who co-founded the outdoor label The North Face and went on to be a prominent conservationist and philanthropist, has died in a kayaking accident in Chile’s Patagonia region.

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