WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:
The Australian dollar has made gains despite data showing the fastest US economic growth in almost two years.
At 0630 AEDT on Friday, the local unit was trading at 90.70 US cents, up from 90.34 cents on Thursday.
And the Australian share market looks set to open lower following falls on international markets after data showed that the US economy was growing at a speedy 3.6 per cent.
At 0645 AEDT on Friday, the December share price index futures contract was down 21 points at 5,190.
WASHINGTON - The US economy grew at a speedy annual rate of 3.6 per cent in the third quarter on inventory investment, the best growth in almost two years.
WASHINGTON - First-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell sharply in the last week of November to 298,000, far below the average of recent months, the Labor Department says.
FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank has voiced growing optimism the eurozone will return to growth next year before gaining further strength in 2015, despite high unemployment and low inflation.
FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25 per cent, holding back for now on further moves to boost the struggling eurozone economy.
LONDON - Britain has hiked its economic growth forecasts as the recovery gathers speed, but has vowed to pursue its deficit-slashing strategy, warning that Britons might have to work until 69 before claiming a state pension.
TOKYO - Tokyo has approved a spending package worth Y5.5 trillion ($A59.75 billion) in a bid to offset a tax hike that comes into effect next year and which critics fear will derail Japan's economic recovery.
BRUSSELS - There were some 125 million people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the European Union last year, edging up steadily as the economy struggles, an EU survey show.
THE HAGUE - East Timor says it won't be deterred from challenging a multi-billion dollar oil and gas treaty with Australia in The Hague despite raids on a lawyer's office and the home of a key witness.
FRANKFURT - US auto giant General Motors says it will largely withdraw its Chevrolet brand from the European market by 2016, citing the "difficult economic situation" on the continent.