WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:
The Australian dollar hit a three week high amid further US dollar weakness and after the release of surprisingly strong local jobs data.
At 0700 AEST on Friday, the local unit was trading at 78.03 US cents, up from 77.37 cents on Thursday.
And the Australian share market looks set to open lower following losses on Wall Street overnight.
At 0720 AEST on Friday, the June share price index futures contract was down six points at 5,938.
LONDON - Rio Tinto has defended increasing iron ore production even as prices plunge, arguing that being a low-cost miner allows it to thrive in the face of continued market volatility which is causing smaller players "significant distress".
WASHINGTON - Senior US lawmakers have reached a deal to make it easier for President Barack Obama to negotiate a massive trade accord with 11 other Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia and New Zealand.
WASHINGTON, April 16 AP - The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose for the second straight week yet remained at a low level that is consistent with more hiring.
WASHINGTON - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has strongly rebuffed talk of Greece obtaining a delay on its debt payments to the Fund.
NEW YORK - Goldman Sachs' profits soared in the first quarter on heavy merger and acquisition activity and strong trading levels in financial markets, earnings figures show.
NEW YORK - Lower expenses have helped lift Citigroup earnings in the first quarter, but the bank's divisions have reported mixed performance amid lower revenues.
NEW YORK - Tobacco giant Philip Morris International has reported first-quarter profit of $US1.8 billion ($A2.34 billion).
THE HAGUE, April 16 AFP - Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever says its sales jumped by 12.3 per cent in the first quarter to 12.8 billion euros ($A17.71 billion).
MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin says the worst is over for crisis-hit Russia, pointing to the recent rebound of the rouble despite Western sanctions over Ukraine.
PARIS - New car registrations jumped 10.6 per cent in Europe last month, the strongest gain in a year and a further signal of recovery in the region's economy.