Finance news you need to know today

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The Australian dollar has slumped after China cut its interest rates to curb two days of dramatic stockmarket losses. At 0630 AEST on Wednesday, the currency was trading at 71.35 US cents, down from 71.82 cents on Tuesday.

SYDNEY — The Australian share market looks set to open lower after Wall Street fell for the sixth straight session, with the Dow posting another triple-digit decline after a morning rally fizzled. At 0645 AEST on Wednesday, the share price index futures contract was down 51 points at 5,076.

BEIJING — China’s central bank has cut its benchmark interest rates and the amount of cash banks must keep on hand.

WASHINGTON — US consumer confidence has rebounded in August after slumping in July, helped by an improved views of business conditions and jobs over the next six months, the Conference Board says.

WASHINGTON — US home prices growth ticked lower in June, but remained at a solid annual pace of gains amid tight inventory in the housing market, according to new private data.

NEW YORK — Prosecutors have arrested a former JPMorgan Chase analyst and two friends in California on charges they made more than $US600,000 ($A837,871.81) on insider trading deals, the Justice Department says.

LONDON — British insurer Royal & Sun Alliance says it’s received a STG5.6 billion ($A12.34 billion) takeover approach from Swiss rival Zurich Insurance, sending its share price soaring.

PRETORIA — South Africa’s economy has unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter, data shows, raising fears of a recession. AAP cdh

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