WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:
The Australian dollar is slightly lower after the release of strong US consumer sentiment data.
At 0630 AEST on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at 93.86 US cents, down from 93.96 cents on Tuesday.
And the Australian share market looks set to open flat following losses on Wall Street after the United States and the European Union broadened sanctions on Russia, overshadowing US economic data and earnings reports.
At 0645 AEST on Wednesday, the September share price index futures contract was down two points at 5,537.
WASHINGTON - The US Treasury has announced punitive sanctions on three leading Russian banks including the giant VTB to press Moscow over its support for rebels in Ukraine.
BRUSSELS - After months of hesitation, the EU has finally agreed to impose economic sanctions against Russia, hoping to make it change course in Ukraine as fighting intensifies around cities held by pro-Moscow rebels.
PARIS - German borrowing costs have fallen to a record low as investors flock to the perceived safe haven of bonds amid concerns over rising tensions between the EU and Russia.
WASHINGTON - US consumer confidence increased for the third consecutive month in July, hitting its highest level since October 2007, The Conference Board says.
WASHINGTON - Delaying efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions could cost the US $US150 billion ($A162.29 billion) a year, the White House warns in a report on the economic consequences of inaction on climate change.
WASHINGTON - The US Federal Reserve has begun a two-day policy meeting under rising pressure to step off its ultra-dovish stance to address rising inflation and worries of overheated markets.
LONDON - Former Yukos shareholders say they are prepared to negotiate with Russia after an international court awarded them $US50 billion ($A54.10 billion) compensation over the seizure of the defunct oil giant.
SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter says its quarterly loss has widened to $US145 million ($A156.88 million) despite revenue more than doubling, but its shares have soared on word of healthy user growth.
OTTAWA - Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced the purchase of German voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping firm Secusmart, whose customers include NATO and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government.
NEW YORK - US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has reported a smaller drop in sales than expected as second-quarter earnings fell sharply due to a one-time gain last year.
PARIS, July 29 AFP - Europe's biggest tyre-maker, Michelin, has confirmed its full-year outlook after a jump in earnings in the first half helped by lower raw material costs.
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